Gov. Christine Gregoire of Washington signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage earlier today, making it the seventh state to approve marriages for all. The state legislature passed the measure by a significant margin late last week.
“We thank Gov. Gregoire for her tremendous leadership in passing this landmark legislation,” said Lacey All, Chair of Washington United for Marriage, a broad statewide coalition of organizations, congregations, unions and business associations in the Evergreen State. “From her moving remarks endorsing the legislation to her unwavering courage and commitment throughout the legislative process, the Governor has been a key ally in forming the bipartisan coalition that passed this bill. Without her years of dedication to equality, Washington’s LGBT community would not enjoy antidiscrimination protections, domestic partnerships or marriage equality. We owe her our heartfelt gratitude and sincerest thanks.”
Same-sex couples will be able to marry beginning in June. Opponents have vowed to trigger a voter referendum, and would need to obtain 120,557 signatures to place the issue on November’s ballot. If enough signatures are collected before the law goes into effect, marriages would be put off until referendum is decided.
In other marriage news, the New Jersey Senate passed that state’s marriage equality bill by a vote of 24-16 today. The bill now heads to the Assembly, which is expected to pass it later this week. If that happens, the bill goes to Gov. Chris Christie, who has promised to veto it. Christie has insisted the matter be put to voters, a move leading lawmakers oppose.
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