House committee to hear gay marriage bill

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- A House committee is set to hold a final hearing on a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state, setting the stage for final passage this week.

If the House Judiciary committee advances the measure after hearing it Monday, it could be up for a vote on the House floor as early as Wednesday. The Senate passed the measure on a 28-21 vote last Wednesday. Once passed by the House, the bill goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature.

Opponents have promised a referendum challenge at the ballot.

Washington state has had a domestic partnership law since 2007, and an "everything but marriage" expansion of that law since 2009.

Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia.