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Governor Chris Gregoire issued a commanding statement Wednesday about her plans to introduce a bill to legalize gay marriage in the state next week. "It's time, it's the right thing to do, and I will introduce a bill to do it," Gregoire said in a statement. "Our gay and lesbian families face the same hurdles as heterosexual families -- making ends meet, choosing what school to send their kids to, finding someone to grow old with, standing in front of friends and family and making a lifetime commitment." If it passes the legislation, Washington would be the seventh state to do so -- plus Washington, DC -- joining New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa and the District of Columbia. As the Seattle Times's Andrew Garber points out, "The announcement represents a change for Gregoire. While running for governor in 2004, she supported legal rights for same-sex couples but said, 'I do not believe that Washington state is ready to support gay marriage.'" We wonder what changed her mind…

Gregoire's Full Statement

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