OLYMPIA — The same-sex marriage legislation will be signed at 11:30 a.m. Monday in a ceremony in the State Reception Room.
Gov. Chris Gregoire usually signs bills in her conference room, which has a long table, lots of chairs, and is the site for most gubernatorial press conferences. It usually plenty big for even the most famous or notorious legislation.
The Reception Room, which is one floor up in the Capitol Building, is significantly bigger. It is also more ornate, with Tiffany chandeliers, historic flags, piano, marble walls and columns in which the tour guides love to point out images in the stone. There's also a wooden dance floor under the carpet. (Not that there's any suggestion of dancing on Monday. Just a bit of random information for those not so familiar with the Capitol.)
They booked the Reception Room because they are expecting an even bigger crowd than the one that filled the conference room for Gregoire's announcement that she would support a same-sex marriage bill this session.
The Secretary of State's office is also prepared for the filing of a referendum by opponents of the legislation on Monday, almost as soon as the bill is signed. Under state law, the referendum petition can't be filed until the bill is signed.
It would be Referendum 73. If opponents can gather just under 121,000 valid signatures of state voters by June 6 — that's half what you need for an initiative — same-sex marriage goes on the November ballot.