The legislation also provided that all domestic partnerships not involving at least one member aged 62 years or older and not dissolved within two years of the date the law goes into effect would automatically become marriages. Because Washington requires a three-day waiting period (excluding the day of issue) before a marriage certificate may be signed, the first same-sex marriages in the state took place on December 9, 2012.An October 2011 University of Washington poll found that 55% of Washington voters would vote to uphold a legislatively approved same-sex marriage bill if it were put to a referendum, while 38% would oppose it and 7% were undecided.Downing stayed enforcement of his order pending appeal to the Washington Supreme Court.
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Within a couple of days, more than 600 same-sex marriage licenses were issued in King County alone.
Previously, in 1998, the state had enacted a Defense of Marriage Act that restricted marriage to different-sex couples, reinforcing its statutes that had been interpreted by a state court in 1974 as imposing the same restriction.
The Washington Supreme Court consolidated the two cases, Andersen v. On January 10, 2007, the Washington Defense of Marriage Alliance, an activist organization that, despite its name, favored marriage rights for same-sex couples, filed a voter initiative, Initiative 957, to incorporate part of the Andersen decision into state statutes by making procreation a requirement for all marriages in Washington State.
The group's stated rationale was to prompt public examination of the premise that marriage exists for the purpose of procreation and to create a test case in which Andersen would be reversed.
Democrats who feared the impact of having the legislation on the November ballot helped override his veto.