Today, Washington became the 7th U.S. state (and eighth jurisdiction) to legally allow marriage for same-sex couples as Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the marriage equality bill into law at a statehouse signing ceremony in Olympia. The Washington state Senate approved the bill in early February by a 28-21 vote, followed shortly by the state House, which passed the bill by a 55-43 vote. The new legislation will not take effect until June 7 of this year. Opponents of marriage equality are already planning a repeal effort for the upcoming November election.
“Today, yet another state has rendered into law what a majority of Americans already know in their hearts: committed couples should be able to marry the person they love,” said Mike Thompson, Acting President of GLAAD. “As millions of people celebrate their love this Valentine’s Day, countless gay and lesbian couples in Washington State are finally one step closer to enjoying the vital protections that only marriage can afford.”