Washington has officially become the seventh state to legally recognize gay marriage, reports the Associated Press.

Gov. Christine Gregoire signed the bill into state law today at a statehouse signing ceremony in the Capitol’s reception room. The bill won final legislative approval from the state House of Representatives on Wednesday by a vote of 55-43.


With the support of a several major Washington-based companies, including Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks, and the governor’s official endorsement, marriage equality advocates were able to swiftly push the measure through legislation.

Opponents have vowed to seek its repeal at the polls in November. If opponents gather enough signatures to take their fight to the ballot box, the law would be put on hold pending the outcome of a November election. Opponents must turn in more than 120,000 signatures by June 6 if they want to challenge the proposed law. Otherwise gay couples could wed starting in June.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, asked supporters today to thank Gov. Gregoire for her work on ensuring gay and lesbian couples the right to marry but remained cautious about the possible voter referendum.

“This has been a critical step forward in our coordinated, nationwide equality campaign, and we’re not about to back down. We still face months of work before same-sex couples can marry in Washington,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said in an email to supporters today.


Photo: wash.gov