By Jerry Cornfield
A bill legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples will be signed into law Monday morning, the governor’s office announced this afternoon.
The law would take effect June 7.
However, once Gregoire signs it opponents can formally launch a drive to repeal it through referendum. If they turn in roughly 120,000 signatures of registered voters by June 6, the law will be suspended until voters decide the issue in November.
The state Senate passed the bill 28-21 on Feb. 1 and the House approved it 55-43 on Wednesday.
There had been some guessing on when Gregoire would sign it. Valentine’s Day seemed like a good possibility and so did Wed. Feb. 15 because Equal Rights Washington, a pro-gay marriage group, is scheduled to hold a rally at the Capitol.
Washington will become the seventh state to allow same-sex couples to wed. Same-sex marriage is legal in, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Iowa as well as the District of Columbia.