Wash. Senate now 2 votes shy on gay marriage

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) The Washington state Senate is now just two votes shy of having enough support to pass gay marriage, as an undecided Democrat said Friday she is now committing her vote to approve it.

Democratic Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe of Bothell said that the legislation is "long overdue." She had said earlier in the week that she was leaning in favor of support but was unwilling to commit to it.

"Now is the time to support marriage for all families," McAuliffe said. She said an overwhelming number of her constituents have encouraged her to support the gay marriage legislation.

Her decision means the Senate now has 23 solid votes to pass the measure, according to a tally of votes over the past week by The Associated Press. A total of 25 votes are needed for passage.

Eight senators remain uncommitted, including three conservative Democrats who say they are considering the issue. The House is widely expected to have enough support, and Gov. Chris Gregoire is pushing the proposal.

Gay marriage is legal in six states.