In a significant move for LGBT equality in the U.S., Washington
governor Christine Gregoire has signed the state marriage equality
bill into law.
The momentous step followed last week's vote by lawmakers to
favour same-sex marriage in a ballot box majority of 55 votes to
Gregoire signed the measure to applause during a ceremony in the
Olympia statehouse. Whilst doing so, she said: "This is a very
proud moment. ... I'm proud of who and what we are as a state."
"I ask all Washingtonians to look into your hearts and ask
yourselves -- isn't it time? ... We in this state stand proud for
She added: "It is the right step. We have finally said yes to
marriage equality. The sky-will-fall rhetoric is simply not true.
However, despite the celebrations, opponents have already
promised to fight the move with a ballot measure that would legally
block same-sex weddings.
To do this, opponents must submit more than 120,000
signatures by 6 June.
Six other states already recognise gay marriage - New
York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa -
as does the District of Columbia.