Anti-gay marriage groups in Washington state have announced an effort to repeal a gay partner law even before Governor Chris Gregoire has signed the bill into law.

Gary Randall, president of the Faith and Freedom Network, says his group hopes to place a referendum on the November ballot that would repeal the legislation passed this week.

The Democratically-controlled House approved the bill on Wednesday that expands a domestic partnership law and grants gay and lesbian couples all the rights and benefits that the state offers married couples except the name. Governor Gregoire has said she will sign the bill into law.

Washington state law bans gay marriage.  Opponents of the domestic partnership expansion say it redefines marriage and violates the law.

“The bill ... elevates homosexual relationships to that of traditional marriage, thus eliminating any legal difference between domestic partnerships and marriage,” Randall wrote in a blog entry posted on the group's website.

“I do not believe a majority [of] Washingtonians believe in homosexual marriage, nor do they want to become a national attraction for homosexuals from other states and countries,” he adds.

Also involved in the challenge is the conservative group Washington Values Alliance and Faith. The two groups met with social and religious leaders for several hours in Olympia on Wednesday to discuss the issue, reports the Herald.