A Washington state senator on Monday joined those lawmakers who support gay marriage, ensuring enough votes to pass a bill out of the state Senate.
"I have very strong Christian beliefs, and personally I have always said when I accepted the Lord, I became more tolerant of others," Democratic Sen. Margaret Haugen said in a statement posted on her website. "I stopped judging people and try to live by the Golden Rule. This is part of my decision. I do not believe it is my role to judge others, regardless of my personal beliefs."
The state House already has enough support, and Gov. Chris Gregoire has endorsed the plan.
Still, it's expected that opponents of gay marriage will oppose the measure on a statewide ballot.
If ultimately approved, Washington would join New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia in approving gay marriage.