WA becomes 7th state to legalize gay marriage

In an emotive ceremony today, Gov. Chris Gregoire signed legislation making Washington the seventh sate to legalize gay marriage.

“Today is a day that historians will mark as a milestone for equal rights,” she said to a hailing crowd.

The House passed the bill with a 55—43 vote last week, one week after the Senate approved it. The gay marriage law is slated to take effect June 7.

Opponents, however, are determined to overturn the measure by collecting enough signatures to send it to the ballot box. If they collect more than 120,000 names by June 6, which they likely will, then the law will be put on hold until the November election.

“If asked, the voters of Washington State will say yes to marriage equality…I believe Washingtonians know it's time to give our gay and lesbian couples the right to a marriage license,” Gregoire said. “Isn't it time to support strong families and make Washington stronger? Isn't it time it time to send a message all across the world that we, in this state, stand proudly for equality?”

A recent poll by the University of Washington Center for Survey Research found that if the issue does go to voters, most would support it. Of those surveyed 55 percent said they would uphold the same-sex marriage law if it were challenged by referendum and 38 percent said they would vote against it.

Washington has had a domestic partnership law since 2007 and in 2009 an “everything but marriage” expansion that was upheld by voters. Also on Monday the New Jersey State Senate passed gay marriage legislation. Gregoire said she will make an appeal to the state's governor, Chris Christie, who has said he will veto the bill.

Do you think same-sex marriage should be legalized in Washington?

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 15 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash. She is also a Scholarly Assistant Professor at Washington State University.

Visit My Website
View All Posts

Check Also

Gay pride flags should not be banned in classrooms

I agree that in general, classrooms shouldn't be a place to push a particular political ideology or campaign. However, simply being gay in school isn't a political campaign. It's a recognition that a teacher's classroom is a safe place for gay kids. If that's political to you, even if the teacher never once mentions a political candidate, you've probably got a problem with the existence of the gay kids.


  1. I’m thrilled. Privacy and sexual personhood are the two big civil rights battlegrounds of our day, and it’s encouraging that we are making progress on at least one of them.

  2. The governor said it’s this generation’s civil rights issue

  3. Washington becomes seventh state to legalize gay m

    […] TRACY SIMMONS c. 2012 Religion News Service Reprinted with […]

  4. I am with Sam, very thrilled! Its about time we actually start living the Christian life all of the Anti-Gay Christian’s in this country are opposed to. The challenging way of life whereby “separate-but-equal” has no place or meaning, the life of radical hospitality. Where did I learn that…oh yea, from Jesus!!!

  5. Spokane’s Religion News Roundup: Feb. 24 | S

    […] week Washington became the seventh state to legalize gay marriage. The story’s a week old, but it’s still a hot topic. Actually, it’s scorching. Bishop James […]

  6. Santorum rallies conservative Spokane voters | Spo

    […] touched on those issues briefly, and he only had to speak about Washington’s new same-sex marriage legislation momentarily to stimulate the […]

  7. Church sounds off with Planned Parenthood executiv

    […] forum won’t be held in April because of Easter, but in May the forum will focus on marriage equality in Washington. Rate this: Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInDiggEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.