WA Gov. Gregoire to support gay marriage bill

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Gregoire said Wednesday she wants Washington to become the seventh state in the nation to make gay marriage legal.

She said at a news conference she'll introduce legislation that, if passed, would allow same-sex marriage in Washington state.

In November, a coalition called Washington United for Marriage announced it would lobby the Legislature to approve a gay marriage this year. In 2009 the Legislature passed, and voters later upheld, a bill that greatly expanded the rights of same-sex domestic partners. That measure was known as the "everything but marriage" bill. Nearly 19,000 people in Washington state are registered as domestic partners.