WA committees to hold gay marriage hearings



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Senate and House committees are set to hear testimony on whether Washington state should legalize same-sex marriage.

Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate and both have public hearings on Monday. They are sponsored by two gay lawmakers who have pushed for gay rights measures in past years.

While gay marriage bills have been introduced in Washington state before, this is the first time the issue will receive a public hearing.

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.