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

No Small Feat: The NBA's Shortest Player Never Gave Up

At 5 foot 3, Muggsy Bogues holds the record as shortest player in NBA history. Criticism of his height started on the basketball courts of the Baltimore projects, and continued well into his career.
NPR

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

Around the world, new gin distilleries are popping up like mushrooms after a rain. NPR traces the boom to its historic roots in London, which once had 250 distilleries within the city limits alone.
NPR

Ranting And Throwing Papers: An Angry Candidate Runs For Congress

State Rep. Mike Bost's rants on the Illinois House floor are the stuff viral dreams are made of. Bost says he has good reason to be upset, and wants voters to share his anger.
NPR

Israel's Solar-Powered 'Trees': For Smartphones And Community

The man-made trees are designed to create a public space where people can gather and re-charge a battery — their own and their smartphone's.

Leave a Comment

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