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Great news: As promised, Washington's Democratic governor, Chris Gregoire, signed the state's recently-passed marriage equality bill into law on Monday. Unfortunately, the legislation may not take effect immediately: Opponents are saying they'll attempt to place the measure on the ballot this November for a voter referendum. That would suspend the law until the vote actually takes place. Fortunately, Washington has a good record when it comes to referendums like this. In 2009, voters approved an expansion of domestic partnership rights by a 53-47 margin, which was described at the time as an "everything but marriage" law. Now they'll have the chance to support the real thing.

And in related news, across the country in New Jersey, the state Senate also just passed a new law permitting same-sex marriage by 24-16 vote. (Two Republicans were in favor and two Democrats against.) That's a turnaround from just a couple of years ago, when the bill failed by 20-14 in the same chamber. The state Assembly is expected to follow suit later this week, but Republican Gov. Chris Christie has promised to veto the bill. I know this is cold comfort, but if there's any silver lining, a Christie veto should at least help us to defeat him in 2013. And that shows you once again just how much attitudes have moved in our favor on this issue.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Feb 13, 2012 at 12:37 PM PST.

Also republished by PacNW Kossacks and Good News.

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