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“I feel like this is the hill, the crest of the marriage equality fight. And after this passes (in the Senate), it’s all going to be smoother sailing from now on,” Guenser said. “I’m really excited to have Washington pass this. I’m excited for my state.”

Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Lawmakers in New Jersey and Maryland are expected to debate gay marriage this year, and Maine could see a gay marriage proposal on the November ballot.

The debate over same-sex marriage in Washington state has changed significantly since lawmakers passed Washington’s Defense of Marriage Act in 1998, which banned gay marriage. The constitutionality of DOMA was ultimately upheld by the state Supreme Court in 2006, but earlier that year, a gay civil rights measure passed after nearly 30 years of failure.

The quick progression of domestic partnership laws in the state came soon after, with a domestic partnership law in 2007, and two years of expansion that culminated in 2009 with the so-called “everything but marriage law” that was upheld by voters after opponents filed a referendum to challenge it.

Under the measure that passed Wednesday, the more than 9,300 couples currently registered in domestic partnerships would have two years to either dissolve their relationship or get married. Domestic partnerships that aren’t ended prior to June 30, 2014, would automatically become marriages.

Domestic partnerships would remain for senior couples where at least one partner is 62 years old or older. That provision was included to help seniors who don’t remarry out of fear they could lose certain pension or Social Security benefits.