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Originally published Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 4:02 AM

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Gregoire to sign Wash. gay marriage law

Gov. Chris Gregoire will sign same-sex marriage into law at a ceremony, where she will be joined by gay couples who plan to marry.

The Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Gov. Chris Gregoire will sign same-sex marriage into law at a ceremony, where she will be joined by gay couples who plan to marry.

Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed will certify the election on Wednesday afternoon in Olympia. The law doesn't actually take effect until Thursday, when gay and lesbian couples can start picking up their wedding certificates and licenses at county auditors' offices. King and Thurston Counties will open the earliest of any of the counties, at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

Because the state has a three-day waiting period, the earliest that marriage certificates can be signed at a wedding or ceremony, making the marriage valid, is Sunday.

Last month, 54 percent of voters approved Referendum 74, which had asked for people to approve or reject the state law legalizing same-sex marriage that legislators passed earlier this year. That law was signed by Gregoire in February but was put on hold pending the outcome of the election.

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