So, that happened. Hooray!

Now what?

According to Zach Silk, spokesman for Washington United for Marriage, the Washington State House will be taking its turn to vote on the gay marriage bill sometime next week.

No one expects anything other than easy passage in the house, where plenty of yea votes were secured long ago. The only question is procedural: Will the house consider the somewhat friendly-amended bill the senate passed last night, or will it keep working on the version of the bill it already has? Depending on what's decided, a vote could take place either Wednesday (if the house sticks with its current version of the bill) or Friday (if it goes with the senate's version, which would require another public hearing along the way to a vote). Either way, Silk says, "That puts it on the governor's desk the following week."

Once the governor receives the bill—not once the house passes it, but once the governor receives it, a small but meaningful distinction that can add a couple of days to this process—the governor then has five days to sign it into law.

"And then," Silk says, "as soon as this bill is signed, the opponents can file a referendum, which we expect they will do because they'll want as long as possible to gather signatures."

The rule is that referendum-filers get 90 days from the end of a legislative session to gather 120,000 valid signatures. If they can file their referendum and get its language approved before the scheduled March 8 end of the current session—well, if they can do that, then they end up with a bit more than 90 days to find signers.

You might ask: Who gets to decide what the ballot language should look like?

The answer is very interesting: Attorney General Rob McKenna.

"We're watching Rob McKenna closely," Silk says. "As we all should."