Washington becomes 7th state to legalize same sex marriage

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Chris Gregoire handed gay rights advocates a major victory Monday, signing into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state, making it the seventh in the nation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.

Gregoire signed the bill surrounded by gay rights supporters. “I’m proud our same-sex couples will no longer be treated as separate but equal,” she said.

It’s a historic moment for the state, but same-sex couples can’t walk down the aisle just yet.

The law takes effect June 7, but opponents on multiple fronts already are preparing to fight.