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Washington state poised to approve gay marriage

Washington state lawmakers are poised to legalize gay marriage, making it seventh in nation By The Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) ' Lawmakers are poised to legalize gay marriage in Washington state, which would make it the seventh state in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed.

The expected action comes a day after a federal appeals court declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, saying it was a violation of the civil rights of gay and lesbian couples.

The Washington House is expected to begin debate Wednesday afternoon. The measure is expected to pass comfortably. Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire is likely to sign the bill next week.

Washington state has had domestic partnership laws since 2007, and more than a dozen other states have provisions supporting same-sex couples.

Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington D.C.

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