Washington governor Christine Gregoire has signed off on the marriage equality bill she introduced, which saw passage through both state houses this month.

In her remarks before signing the legislation, Gregoire talked about a 16-year-old girl who had considered suicide because of her sexual orientation, but changed her mind after hearing the discussion surrounding same-sex marriage, which “allowed her to live”.

Gregoire teared up when thanking the younger generation — especially her daughters — for speaking up in support of equal rights.

“[Today] is a proud day that historians will mark as a milestone for equal rights,” she said.

Openly gay state senator Ed Murray also spoke at the event.

“My friends, welcome to the other side of the rainbow. No matter what the future holds, nothing will take this moment away from us,” he told the cheering crowd.

The signing was not without incident however. As the governor officially approved the bill, a man shouted, “Do not betray Christ!”.

His comments were shouted down by marriage equality supporters who cheered during the outburst and the man was removed from the room.

Washington passed marriage reform after a 55-43 vote in the state House last week.

It is now the eighth location and seventh state in the US to allow same-sex marriages.

The bill will now take 90 days to come into effect, but marriage equality foes have pledged to introduce a ballot measure that would allow voters to overturn the legislative approval.

They’ll need over 120,000 signatures by a June 6 deadline in order to take their fight to the ballot box, which would put the law on hold pending the outcome of a November election.

If there are not enough signatures collected, gay couples will be able to wed from June.

Watch video of the signing below.

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