SPOKANE, Wash. -- Opponents of gay marriage promised a fight at the ballot box after the state Senate on Wednesday took a major step toward making Washington the seventh state to allow same-sex marriage.
After passing the Senate 28 to 21, the bill is now headed for expected approval in the House and on to Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, who has promised to sign it.
"There's still a lot of work to be done, we have to be diligent, but we're confident that this legislation will make it to the governor's desk," said Zach Silk of Washington United for Marriage, a statewide coalition fighting for marriage equality.
Opponents, however, are putting up a fight. They will have until July to collect more than 150,000 signatures to put the measure to a public vote on the November ballot.
"I am happy it passed, but it will undoubtedly face a referendum in the fall, so it's too soon to begin talking about what it all means," said Rev. Bill Ellis, dean of Spokane's Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.