Washington State Legalizing Gay Marriage

Bill expected to be signed within days

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 9, 2012 12:16 AM CST | Updated Feb 9, 2012 3:54 AM CST

(Newser) – A measure making Washington the seventh state to allow gay marriage has cleared its final legislative hurdle. The state House passed the bill—which cleared the state Senate last week—and it is now headed for the desk of Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, who has promised to sign it, reports AP. The bill is set to take effect in June, but opponents plan to gather enough signatures before then to put it on hold pending a statewide referendum in November.

The bill passed the House largely along party lines, with just three Democrats voting against it. "Someone made the comment that this not about equality. Well, yes, it is about equality," said Rep. Maureen Walsh, one of two Republicans who voted for the measure. "My daughter came out of the closet a couple of years ago. I thought I would agonize about that. But nothing is different," she said. "She's still a fabulous human being, and she's met a person that she loves very much, and someday, by God, I want to throw a wedding for that kid."

An opponent places a sign against gay marriage in the Capitol rotunda before yesterday's vote.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Spectators in the House gallery applaud after legislators voted to legalize gay marriage in Washington state.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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