The marriage-equality bill, which would legalize marriages between same-sex couples, passed out of the house judiciary committee on a 7-6 party-line yesterday---its penultimate stop on the way to almost-certain passage by the House. The companion bill in the senate has enough votes---25---to pass.

Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43, Seattle), the bill's house sponsor, notes that the bill's supporters fought back three amendments aimed at crippling the legislation---one that would have broadened the bill's religious exemption so much that the bill would have been meaningless; another that would have imposed a six-month residency requirement on all couples wanting to get married, not just gay couples; and a final amendment that would have put the legislation to an immediate public referendum.

"It would be the people acting as the governor's signature on" the legislation, Pedersen says. "Since the governor put herself out there [by publicly supporting marriage equality], I'd like for her to have a chance to sign it."