Gov. Chris Gregoire has officially approved the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state of Washington, according to the Associated Press.
“This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington,” the governor said in a statement.
Washington will now join the states of New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia that have also enacted laws or issued court rulings permitting same-sex marriage.
Same-sex couples in Washington can now start picking up marriage certificates and licenses. However, Washington has a three-day waiting period so the new marriages will not be valid until Dec. 9.
This new law will not require religious organizations or churches to perform marriages for same-sex couples. They also will not face any penalties for refusing.