WA committees hold gay marriage hearings

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage packed a Senate committee hearing on a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state.

The Senate started its public hearing Monday morning, and the House was holding one in the afternoon.

Dozens of opponents wore buttons that read "Marriage. One Man. One Woman." Others wore stickers that read "Washington United for Marriage," a coalition that supports same-sex marriage legislation.

Washington state has had a domestic partnership law since 2007, and a so-called "everything but marriage" law since 2009.

Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Lawmakers in New Jersey and Maryland are expected to debate gay marriage this year as well

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