BREAKING: Marriage Equality Bill Signed, Sealed, Delivered In Washington State

Gov. Chris Gregoire has officially signed same-sex marriage into law in Washington State in a ceremony held in the state capital of Olympia. Weddings will commence June 7, if opponents do not have 120,000 signatures to propose a November ballot referendum by June 6.

In legalizing gay marriage, Washington is the seventh marriage-equality state, joining New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

Time to celebrate, Seattle! And time to thank Gov. Chris Gregoire for championing our charge for equal rites.

It’s also time for Republicans in New Jersey and Maryland, where marriage equality measures are bubbling, up to watch this video of GOP Rep. Maureen Walsh waxing eloquent on why she supports gay marriage.

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  • Robert in NYC

    Not to put a damper on this bu isn’t this a bit premature to start celebrating? 90 days have to pass before gay couples can legally marry and if the 120,000 signatures are collected, even fraudulently, then the law will not take effect. Never trust the haters, they’re capable of anything underhanded. I wonder how these signatures are verified? What about fraud? The names and addresses of the signatories should be published either way.

  • Scott

    It would be nice to have a support petition to cancel out a denial petition.

  • sokablamo

    I’m wondering…. wouldn’t the gay animus argument from the recent Prop 8 ruling apply if the petition goes to the ballot and passes? WA has domestic partnership, legal gay marriage, then wouldn’t an initiative to overrule the legislature fall under the same logic. Or would it all have to start with a State Supreme Court ruling as in CA for the 9th circuit’s reasoning to apply?

  • Charlie

    Yay Washington!

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    Come on Queerty, just a little journalism quality control, please?

    Its been well reported, including here on Queerty, that this Washington legislation is subject to a Citizens’ Veto. Now that the bill has been signed, opponents to the legislation have 90 days to collect 121,000 signatures from registered voters.

    When Washington passed their “everything but the word marriage” civil unions, opponents were able to garner the necessary 121,000 signatures in 60 days. So, it is more likely than not that opponents will be able to gather sufficient signatures.

    Let us hope that the attempt to repeal marriage-equity will fail as Referendum 71 did.

    @sokablamo: No; there is 1 huge difference between what happened in California and what is happening in Washington. The difference is that in California same-sex marriage were legal and occurring; in Washington, same-sex marriages are not yet legal, and will not be legal until either 90 days or properly filed signatures force a vote in November.

  • Sam

    @sokablamo: It wouldn’t have to start with a Supreme Court ruling, but same sex couples would have had to have actually gotten the right to marry and had it taken away for the Ninth’s reasoning to apply. In the ruling, the court referred to marriage in terms like “a right gays and lesbians previously enjoyed,” etc.

    If the haters use the referendum, the law is never actually enacted, so we never actually get the right. So they’re not actually taking it away. Since Washington – like Maine – has the “people’s veto” it’s one more hurdle we have to overcome before we win.

  • randy

    If I were in Washington, I would immediately start up a petition to stop SSM in that state. Pull out the haters and them sign up. Then when the real haters put their real petition up, people will say, sorry, I already signed that petition. They all smile.

    Then, just before the deadline, we toss the petitions, and that knocked out thousands of petition signatures.

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @randy: That’s probably illegal; however, I strongly suspect that there is something close to that would do the job but would be legal.

  • Chuck

    Maureen Walsh, you are one of the most eloquent speakers on our behalf that I have ever heard.

  • CJ

    It sort of makes me angry that the 9th Circuit’s ruling was so pick’n narrow. How much more narrow can you get?

    Even though Washington has “passed” marriage equality, it IS very possible that it will never be enacted. The whole point of the referendum process is to allow citizens to stop the legislature from enacting laws that the citizens do not want. That sounds great in many instances. But, when it comes to equality there is still a lot of prejudice, even in “liberal” Washington State. It’s very easy for people to say that they’re “for” equality and then later vote differently once a lot of scare tactics and lies via NOM come rushing in. Look at what happened in California. California is supposedly more liberal than Washington and Proposition 8 passed there.

    If you want to see some progress, donate some $$ to a worthwhile cause that can help fight back NOM’s lies. NOM is nothing but a thug organization from DC. They’ve already threatened Washington State Republicans (who voted for equality) in that they’d send $250k into the state to ensure these Republicans lose their jobs.

  • Grazel

    Referrendum 73 was introduced in the afternoon shortly after Gregoire signed the bill into law. They should have no problem getting enough signatures since the number is so low. It’s going to be a close call come November though as the previous Referrendum barely passed (as odd as it sounds if Referrendum 73 passes than we get marriage, if it fails we don’t due to the legal requirements of the wording of referrendums).

    What nobody is mentioning is there’s also already an initiative in the works that could interfere but it’s not out for signatures yet as they are still haggling over the wording and supposedly it won’t block the current law but could create a challenge loophole if it passes.

  • smarine

    Opponents of gay marriage always use the bible to push their backward ideology. It is based on fear and a lack of education typically, but interlaced with those things, is the ability of the public at large to embed their views on others, even if it restricts those same peoples dignity and rights that the other parties enjoy. They do it because they think ‘they can’, and because it makes them feel better and larger than life, when in reality, according to Jesus, it makes them smaller, and synonymous with the same elite ‘rich’ that Jesus mentioned having a tougher time getting into heaven than a camel through eye of needle. It’s the same thing, and too much of the public are as sheep, and blind to the reality that the same bible they use to thwart others god given rights, is the same one that clearly indicates their error.

    You can do a google search for Eunuch and discover that what Jesus said about these individuals is quite clear:

    ” For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    To further decipher this quote, you can also dig deeper by some findings here:

    This is yet another way to defeat hatred and prejudice when it rears its ugly head, in addition of course, to additional sound reasoning from not only the APA , and not the court system as seen by the prop 8 trial video online, that opponents against gay marriage do so out of FEAR,bias and a lack of education on the topics, not anything logical or rational.

    It’s time to put these antiquated ideals to rest forever, and let freedom ring for another group of individuals besieged by fear.

    One other thing should be noted in light of recent events politically, and that is that Mitt Romney needs to answer for his disgusting support of prop 8 in the form of $10,000, all attempted to be done in private. As a educated man, he should know better than put his MONEY behind a hate group like that, and maybe after he does some soul searching , and sound reading from url’s that I’ve posted, that he will also be enlightened. Its hard to see him come around though, given he is forced by his own party, who mostly accepts this vitriolic hatred of gay rights, and be willing to tell the nation that as a person running for this high office and the responsibilities of ethics and morality that come with it, that its time to forever put to rest this notion, of bullying a minority group, just because they can. No, they can not. Their mockery of Jesus teachings has come to an end ;)

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