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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Final Signatures Make Way For Washington Same-Sex Marriage Law

Austin Jenkins

OLYMPIA, Wash. – On the eve of same-sex marriage taking effect in Washington, Governor Chris Gregoire hosted an emotional ceremony in her office. Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the results of the vote to uphold Washington’s new marriage equality law.

Voters in Washington, Maryland and Maine all said yes last month to allowing same-sex marriage. But Washington’s law goes into effect first. Governor Gregoire noted the historic significance of gaining voter approval as she prepared to sign a formal proclamation.

“First state in the nation to issue marriage licenses as a result of a ballot box,” she declared.

The room was crowded with couples and backers of the campaign to uphold the state’s new same-sex marriage law. After the formal signing ceremony, Marcy Kulland stood with her partner of more than 20-years and recalled that she’s been fighting for gay rights since the mid-1970s.

“This is a culmination of a dream for me and especially with the woman I love, so it means everything to me,” Kulland says.

Kulland and her partner Terry Virgona plan to wed next fall.  

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."