[JURIST] Washington Governor Christine Gregoire [official website] on Tuesday signed into law the landmark gay civil rights act [HB 2661 text, PDF] which expands the Washington Civil Rights Act to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in housing, lending and employment. Advocates of the bill, which was approved by the Washington House and Senate [JURIST report] last Friday, have been pushing the legislation for nearly 30 years. In signing the bill, the governor said [speech text], "I am proud that finally, after far too many years, the State of Washington has taken an affirmative stand to say to gay and lesbian individuals, moms and dads, sons and daughters, neighbors, co-workers and friends, living in Washington State that they are, like all other people, free to work in an environment absent discrimination." Washington is now the 17th state in the nation with an anti-discrimination law that covers sexual orientation. Seattle's Post-Intelligencer has more.