OLYMPIA - This week, Washington became the seventh state to legalize gay marriage. But it now looks like the final decision may ultimately rest with voters.
Opponents have already taken the first step towards bringing the issue to the ballot.
I think it's great. Happy Valentine's Day. They should have the same rights as everybody else, said Yamuna Benedict.
Not everyone feels the same about gay marriage in Washington. Surrounded by emotional lawmakers, Washington's Governor Chris Gregoire signed the bill into law, Monday.
Within hours of the signing, opponents filed the paperwork needed to collect signatures for a referendum to overturn the law. Referendum 74 would be a yes or no on gay marriage question if it gets to the ballot.
It's preferable if we understand that marriage is unique and special and it's not necessarily inclusive of every relationship. There are lots of relationships that are very meaningful to people that are not called marriages and that's OK, said Christopher Plante with the National Organization for Marriage.
It's likely to be early March before Referendum 74 sponsors can print and circulate petitions. They'll need 120,577 valid signatures by June 6th, the day before the new law would take effect.
Opponents aren't worried. They say when the issue is put to the voters, history has shown voters, they vote against gay marriage.
This is about marriage and 57 percent of Washingtonians say that this bill is not necessary. They have spoken clearly. The legislature has not listened. So the people will have a the last say, said Joseph Backholm with Preserve Marriage Washington.
A yes vote means the law passes as signed, a no vote would overturn it.