With Governor Chris Gregoire's signature on Monday, Washington became the seventh state to legalize gay marriage.

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 repeal it.

“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.”