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Washington State Becomes 7th State for Marriage Equality

It’s official in Washington State. Governor Gregoire signed the same sex marriage bill into law. Couples won’t be able to marry until early June, but the law makes Washington the SEVENTH U.S. state to legalize same sex marriage.

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Opponents filed Referendum 73 Monday afternoon. If they collect the more than 120,577 valid voter signatures by June 6, the law will be put on hold pending the outcome of a November vote. Separately, an initiative was filed at the beginning of the legislative session that opponents of gay marriage say could also lead to the new law being overturned.

Gay marriage supporters said that while they are ready for a campaign battle, they are allowing themselves to celebrate first.

“You have to relish this moment,” said 31-year-old Bret Tiderman of Seattle.

The state reception room at the Capitol was packed with hundreds of gay rights supporters and at least 40 lawmakers from the House and Senate to watch Gregoire sign the bill.

Sen. Ed Murray, a Seattle Democrat who is gay and has sponsored gay rights legislation for years, told the cheering crowd: “My friends, welcome to the other side of the rainbow. No matter what the future holds, nothing will take this moment in history away from us.”

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