Washington State Governor Signs Gay Marriage Into Law | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Washington State Governor Signs Gay Marriage Into Law

Gay and lesbian couples in Washington state can start picking up their wedding certificates and licenses tomorrow. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law Wednesday a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in the state.

Last month, voters in Washington, Maine and Maryland voted to approve same-sex marriage, making them the first states where gay marriage has passed through popular vote.

"This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington," Gregoire said before signing the measure. "For many years now, we've said one more step, one more step. And this is our last step for marriage equality in the state of Washington."

November's ballot measure had asked residents to vote on a state law legalizing gay marriage that passed earlier this year. Nearly 54 percent of voters backed the measure known as Referendum 74. Religious organizations are not required by the new law to marry gay or lesbian couples.

The Seattle Times is reporting on county offices across the state preparing to issue licenses, and on the couples waiting to receive them.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"Washington state has had a domestic partnership law in place since 2007. The initial law granted couples about two dozen rights, including hospital visitation and inheritance rights when there is no will. It was expanded a year later, and then again in 2009, when lawmakers completed the package with the so-called "everything but marriage" law that was ultimately upheld by voters later that year."

Gay marriage is already legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

New Technology Immerses Audiences At Sundance Film Festival

From flying like a bird to walking through a refugee camp in Syria, virtual reality has enabled journalists, filmmakers and artists to immerse their audience in their stories like never before.
NPR

Sandwich Monday: Girl Scout Cookie Coffeemate

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try Girl Scout Cookies in a new form. Coffeemate has somehow blended them into nondairy creamer, so you can start your day the disturbing way.
NPR

At Koch Summit, A Freewheeling Debate Among GOP Hopefuls

Do billionaires have too much influence in both major parties? Three top Republican presidential prospects say no.
NPR

Intended For Millennials, Dish's Sling TV Is A Cord Cutter's Dream

Dish Network soon debuts its Sling TV streaming service, with a small group of cable channels for $20 a month. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans tried it and says Sling TV is a welcome challenge to cable.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.