Update: 2:51 p.m.
King County Executive Dow Constantine praised Obama's announcement in a prepared statement:
"I commend President Obama for being on the right side of history in announcing his support for marriage equality today.
"Tomorrow we welcome President Obama to Seattle, and I will tell him how much we in King County appreciate his courage on this, the civil rights issue of our time.
"I am confident that the people of Washington will make ours the first state to recognize marriage equality by a public vote when we approve Referendum 74 in November."
Earlier today, the Huffington Post reported that President Obama became the first sitting president to announce his support for same-sex marriage, in an interview with ABC News.
"At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," he said in the interview.
According to the graphic, Washington, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, along with Iowa and the District of Columbia, have the most rights afforded to gays.
Washington has a domestic partnership law that grants many benefits to registered couples.
A it could face a referendum in the fall. If signature gatherers don't collect enough signatures, gay marriage would be legal in June.
- domestic partnership;
- hospital visitation by same sex partners or spouses;
- gays to adopt, either singly or as a couple.
- employment discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation;
- housing discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation;
- harassment in schools based on gender identity or sexual orientation
Also, Washington's hate crime laws include crimes committed based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
However, the issue of same sex marriage in Washington is up in the air, because opponents have until June 6 to get enough signatures to put Referendum 74, which would affirm the recently passed law, on the November ballot. For details, about that, click here.
In addition to comparing states' level of gay rights, the Guardian graphic allows you to log in through Facebook and see what rights are afforded in the states where all your Facebook friends live.