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Originally published Monday, April 22, 2013 at 3:49 PM

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Gov. Inslee signs gender-neutral language bill

Gov. Jay Inslee has signed off on the final installment of a six-year effort to make the state's copious laws gender-neutral.

Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Gov. Jay Inslee has signed off on the final installment of a six-year effort to make the state's copious laws gender-neutral.

Inslee signed the bill Monday. The state has already welcomed "firefighters," "clergy" and "police officers" into its lexicon under previous bills. Under this measure terms like "ombuds" and security guards" replace ombudsman and watchmen.

Senate Bill 5077 passed the state House by a 70-22 vote earlier this month, with Democrats united in favor and Republicans split. It passed out of the state Senate by a unanimous vote in February.

About half of all U.S. states have moved toward such gender-neutral language at varying levels, from drafting bills to changing state constitutions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Florida and Minnesota have already completely revised their laws as Washington state is doing.

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