One Step Closer To Equality for All: Washington State Legislature Passes Marriage Bill!

In the second victory for marriage equality in as many days, house lawmakers in Washington have passed a bill that would make the recognition of marriage neutral. With a bi-partisan vote of 55-43, the bill now moves on to Governor Christine Gregoire, who announced last month that she intended to support the bill.

According to Routers,”Once the Washington state bill reaches Gregoire’s desk, she would have five days, not including Sunday, to sign it into law. It is a timetable that some speculated would lead to its enactment next Tuesday, Valentine’s Day. Still, the measure would not take effect before June 7, three months after the conclusion of the legislative session.

Those against they measure say they will fight back using one of two ballot measures; one calling for its repeal or one define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

“The former would need 241,153 signatures of registered voters by July 6 to secure a place on the November ballot. The latter would need just half the number of signatures by June 6. If a referendum qualifies for the November ballot, the gay marriage law would be suspended until the election and certification of returns, meaning December 6, before it is either repealed or goes into effect. Under the initiative process, by contrast, gay marriages could proceed on June 7, regardless of ballot-qualification efforts” Routers reports.

The full Senate passed the measure on a 28-21 vote last Wednesday.

The bill’s passage follows Tuesday’s victory in California, where a Ninth Circuit panel ruled  2:1 that Prop 8 was unfair to the state’s same-gender couples.

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