For the second time this year, Washington state Gov. Christine Gregoire signed same-sex marriage into law in the Evergreen state.
The signing ceremony déjà vu comes just months after the first time around, when gay marriage opponents blocked the law passed by state legislators. Opponents collected more than double the number of signatures needed in order to put the law before voters in a straight up or down Election Day ballot measure. Despite the opposition, Referendum 74 eventually passed last month, with 54% of voters approving the law.
“For the past twenty years we’ve been saying just one more step. Just one more fight. Just one more law. But now we can stop saying ‘just one more.’ This is it. We are here. We did it,” Gregoire said at the signing ceremony Wednesday.
Washington joined Maine and Maryland in ushering in same-sex marriage rights through ballot initiatives on Election Day. Due to state-required three-day waiting period on marriage licences, gay couples in the Pacific Northwest must wait until Sunday before certificates become official. Couples in Maine must wait until Dec. 29 and those in Maryland have until the first of the year before marriages in those states are on the books.