Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected Wednesday to support legalizing marriage for same-sex couples in Washington in 2012.
Gregoire has called a news conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday to discuss the issue.
“She will be addressing marriage equality,” said Karina Shagren, a spokeswoman for the governor.
Shagren would not elaborate and would not confirm or deny that Gregoire intends to submit a marriage equality bill to the Legislature.
If she doesn’t propose a bill then she could endorse legislation pushed by two gay Democratic lawmakers from Seattle, Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pedersen. The two legislators have been invited to the news conference.
Rep. Marko Liias, D-Edmonds, who also is gay, will be attending.
“I’ve been invited as well,” he said. “I’m taking my partner with me and we’re excited to hear what the governor has to say.”
Today, Washington allows same-sex couples that register as domestic partnerships to receive the same benefits and responsibilities under state law as a heterosexual couple.
There are 9,224 active domestic partnerships in Washington, according to the Office of the Secretary of State.