With Governor Chris Gregoire's
signature on Monday, Washington became the seventh state to legalize
Joining Gregoire at the signing
ceremony in Olympia were legislative leaders, openly gay lawmakers
who worked on the legislation – Senator Ed Murray and Reps. Jamie
Pederson and Laurie Jinkins – and their spouses.
“Isn't it time for this state to send
a message all across the world: We in this state stand proudly for
equality,” she told the crowd.
The law will go into effect on June 7
provided opponents do not gather sufficient signatures to put it up
for a vote. In that case, marriage equality would be put on hold
pending the outcome of a November election.
Gregoire touched on the upcoming fight
to keep the law in place, predicting voters would reject an effort to
“If asked those questions with their
heads and their hearts, I believe the people of the state of
Washington will say, 'Yes, marriage equality is right for our state
and our time is now. The time is today.'”
Voters in 2009 rejected an effort to
repeal a domestic partnership law which gave gay couples all the
protections of marriage.
The Family Policy Institute of
Washington responded by declaring on its website: “We ARE going to
exercise our right to referendum and reject this law.”