There are many heroes in the Washington marriage equality success story, but Governor Christine Gregoire, who admits to having had a change of heart before coming around to the side of love, stands out of the crop. After campaigning for marriage equality support for weeks in the state, Gov. Gregoire will finally be able to put her mark on the legislation on Monday.
After Gov. Gregoire signs the marriage equality legislation, same-sex couples in Washington—the seventh state (not including D.C.) to provide all of its couples with access to marriage rights—will have to wait until June 7 to tie the knot.
Reuters explains what hoops homophobes must jump to get repeal of equality on Washington's November ballot:
In the meantime, opponents of same-sex matrimony said they would seek to overturn the legislation via one of two ballot measures -- a referendum for repeal or an initiative defining marriage as the exclusive domain of heterosexual couples.
The initiative would need 241,153 signatures of registered voters by July 6 to secure a place on the November ballot. A repeal would need just half the number of signatures by June 6.
If a repeal 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law would be suspended until the election and certification of returns, meaning December 6, before it is either repealed or goes into effect.
But qualification of a proposed initiative defining matrimony as restricted to one man and one woman would not, in and of itself, prevent gay marriages from proceeding under the newly passed statute starting on June 7.
It remains unclear whether gay weddings performed in the interim would be nullified if an initiative were to pass in November.
Earlier this week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against California's Proposition 8, narrowly determining that the removal of rights already provided to citizens is unconstitutional. It will be interesting to see how Washington bigots approach the referendum in the wake of the ruling.