[QODLink]
Americas
Washington state set to allow gay marriage
Legislators approve bill to legalise same-sex marriage, one day after US court reversed California's gay marriage ban.
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2012 11:07
Governor Christine Gregoire (L) congratulates representative Jamie Pederson after the house passed the bill [Reuters]

Washington legislators have voted in favour of a bill legalising same-sex marriage, which should soon be signed into law by the governor, officials said.

The bill was passed by 55 votes to 43 in the lower-house House of Representatives, having already been approved by state senators last week.

Christine Gregoire, the state governor, has five days to approve the text, which would make Washington the seventh state in the US to allow gay marriage. The law would then go into effect 90 days later.

The governor said last month she supported the bill and that she planned to sign it if approved by legislators.

Six US states - Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont - plus the District of Columbia already allow same-sex marriage, but the issue remains highly controversial.

The vote in Washington state comes a day after a US federal appeals court struck down a California law that had stripped gay couples of the right to marry.

Gay marriage was briefly authorised in California in 2008, but later banned by a referendum on what was known as Proposition 8. It rewrote the state's constitution to restrict marriage to unions between a man and a woman.

On Tuesday, the three-judge appeals panel in San Francisco ruled 2-1 that a lower court had properly declared the ban a violation of the US constitution.

But opponents of the legislation say they will try to gather enough signatures to call a public referendum on banning it in November. If they were to get the signatures needed, the law would be suspended until the referendum.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.