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Is Gay Marriage Legal in Washington State?


Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire Signs Marriage Equality Bill

Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire Signs Marriage Equality Bill

© Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
Question: Is Gay Marriage Legal in Washington State?
The Washington State Legislature passed a bill in 2012 that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington State and the Governor signed the bill. Does that mean gay marriage is now legal in Washington?
Answer: Yes! Finally. After Governor Chris Gregoire signed the same-sex marriage bill into law, opponents of marriage equality filed to stop the law from going into effect. Marriage equality opponents collected signatures and put a referendum on the ballot that would required Washington voters to approve the bill that has been passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor.

The language of Referendum 74 is this:

Referendum 74

The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6239 concerning marriage for same-sex couples, modified domestic-partnership law, and religious freedom [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill]. This bill would allow same-sex couples to marry, preserve domestic partnerships only for seniors, and preserve the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform, recognize, or accommodate any marriage ceremony.

Should this bill be:


Approved: 51.8%
Rejected: 48.2%

Gay Marriage Victory in Washington!

Voters in Washington voted to approve Referendum 74 and gay marriage is now likely to be legal in Washington State. Gay and lesbian couples can apply for marriage licenses as early as December 6, 2012.
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