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Washington governor urges legislature to approve gay marriage

Christine Gregoire says leaders need to 'stand up and make the decision'

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire couldn't be any more different from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie when it comes to how the issue of gay marriage should be decided in their respective states.

Christie has vowed to veto a same-sex marriage bill even if it passes the state legislature saying he would rather put the issue before a vote of the people in the fall.

Gregoire disagrees with that approach.

"In my state I am urging every one of my senators and representatives to stand up, take the vote, do the right thing. Bear the responsibility, do not just send it to the ballot,' she said in a radio interview with Michelangelo Signorile.

'There's a time and a place to go to a vote of the people in an issue like this,' Gregoire said. 'I do not understand why a legislative body cannot stand up as elected by their own respective districts and make the decision and take the vote. If then someone out there in the community believes it should go to the ballot there is a mechanism in our state in which they can do that.'

Gregoire announced earlier this month that she would introduce marriage legislation in the legislative session than began Jan. 9. It marked the first time she had publicly endorsed gay marriage.

'I wish that I could have come to the point that I am today six years ago, seven years ago, five years ago,' she told Signorile. 'I'm sorry that it took me as long as it did. ... I wish that everyone who has grappled so hard with this issue can feel as good about oneself as I do today. I finally feel like I have done what is the moral and right thing to do as a mom, as a wife, as a citizen and as a governor.'

If approved, Washington would join Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York as well as the District of Columbia in allowing same-sex marriages. 

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