Gov. Chris Gregoire (D-WA) was visibly emotional as she signed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington, making the Evergreen State the seventh in the nation to offer marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Suporters cheered “thank you, thank you” as Sen. Ed Murray (D) — a sponsor of the measure — introduced Gregoire and cheered “four more years!”
Gregoire shared some of the positive reaction to the passage of the measure and described the occasion as a “very proud moment” in her career:
GREGOIRE: We’re here today to make history in this great state… As governor now for over seven years, this is a very proud moment. Most surely, it is a proud day in the history of the legislature…it is a day as historians will mark as am milestone for equal rights in this state. …We stood for equality and we did it together. I’m proud of who and what we are as a state. I’m proud that our same-sex couples will no longer be treated as separate, but equal. They will be equal in the great state of Washington. I’m proud that the children in our schools and neighborhoods will no longer have to wonder why their loving parents are considered somewhat different than other loving parents.
As she signed the bill, at least one opponent of marriage equality yelled out, “do not betray Christ!, do not betray Christ!” The crowd’s cheers drowned him out and Gregoire pronounced, “it’s signed!” Watch a compilation:
The law will not take effect before June 7, three months after the conclusion of the legislative session. However, if opponents succeed in putting a question of marriage on the November ballot defining marriage as a union between one mand and one woman, the law would be suspended until the certification of election returns in December. Gregoire predicted that the people of the state of Washington “will say yes to marriage equality in the state of Washington” if the law is reviewed in a referendum.