Same-sex marriage signed into law in Washington

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 06, 2012 07:10 hrs

Governor Chris Gregoire has signed a measure into law that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington State.

"This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington," Gregoire said before signing the measure that officially certified the election results.

"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," Gregoire added.

Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election on Wednesday afternoon, as they were joined by couples who plan to wed.

According to CBS News, the law does not take effect until Thursday, when gay and lesbian couples can start picking up their wedding certificates and licenses at county auditors' offices.

Same-sex couples who previously were married in another state that allowed gay marriage, like Massachusetts, will not have to get remarried in Washington state.

Last month, Maine and Maryland became the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote.

They joined six other states - New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont - and the District of Columbia that had already enacted laws or issued court rulings permitting same-sex marriage, the report said.

The law does not require religious organizations or churches to perform marriages, and it does not subject churches to penalties if they don't marry gay or lesbian couples, the report added. (ANI)

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