Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on Monday gave gay rights a boost in the state when signing into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in the state. Washington is now the seventh state in the U.S to hand gay rights advocates a major victory.
The law officially goes into effect on June 7 and homophobic groups have already promised to fight the law until the bitter end.
The bills opponents said they were already prepared to challenge the law by attempting to put it on hold until the outcome of a November vote.
As the law was signed the state reception room at the Capitol was packed with at least 40 lawmakers and various gay rights supporters.
In front of a cheering crowd Sen. Ed Murray, a Seattle Democrat who sponsored the bill and is also gay told the audience:
“My friends, welcome to the other side of the rainbow. No matter what the future holds, nothing will take this moment away from us.”
While the audience was mostly friendly one crazy religious fanatic could be heard screaming “Do not betray Christ!” however his chants were soon drowned out by cheers from gay-marriage supporters.
Gregoire’s bill signing comes just one week after a federal appeals court declared California’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.
Domestic partnership laws have been on the books in Washington since 2007 and in 2009 the state passed an expansion of its laws known as “everything but marriage.”
At the start of session a new anti-gay marriage initiative was also filed however no signatures have been collected since the wording for the opposition has not yet been worked out.
With Washington on-board the following states now allow for gay marriage:
New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
Anyone interested in ready the new gay marriage law in Washington can view Senate Bill 6239.