The Washington House of Representatives on Wednesday joined the state Senate in passing legislation to legalize same sex marriage.

The bill has the support of Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire, who is expected to sign it into law, making Washington the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage.

"Yes, this story was a very long time in the making," said Washington state Rep. Jim Moeller (D).

"But finally, legislation writing marriage equality into the law of our state has earned wide and increasingly bipartisan support. Slowly but surely, many legislators, who in some cases have been rather solid ‘Nays’ on marriage equality, are moving toward ‘Yea.’ They see that the justice and fairness in this legislation simply makes sense — simple, common sense. And they see that the love and commitment they have in their own marriage is the same in all marriages."

The bill passed the House by a 55 to 43 vote. It passed in the Senate on February 1, by a 28 to 21 vote.

"Strong, healthy families promote social stability and prosperous economic growth," Moeller said. "Couples who have obtained civil-marriage licenses have already committed themselves to one another in heart and mind. In this measure, our state meets a responsibility to establish legal, ethical, and commonsense protections that are realized in a bona-fide marriage contract."

Those who oppose same sex marriage have vowed place a proposed repeal of the law before voters in November.

"Washington State has truly separated God from government," said state Rep. Jim McCune (R). "God would hold us all accountable for our actions here today."

Photo credit: Nikolai Alekseev