Gay and lesbian couples in Washington can start applying for and obtaining marriage licenses at 12:01 AM on December 6. Washington Governor Christine Gregoire will certify the November 6 election results today, December 5, in order to begin the process of releasing marriage licenses to all couples.
In preparation for all of the couples who would like to marry, county auditors’ offices have updated their forms and their websites. King and Thurston counties will open at midnight, Pierce at 6:30 a.m. and Clark and Island counties will open their doors at 8 a.m.
The Seattle Lesbian has provided a handy guide for couples who are planning to get married, so that all the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted.
Washington law requires a three day waiting period, so actual weddings will not begin until Sunday, December 9. But when that day comes, there will be a grand celebration!
Washingtonians are getting into the wedding spirit! There are wedding celebrations being planned at Seattle City Hall, Lake Union Café, and First Baptist Church, among other places. Hotels and bars are offering special deals for couples with new wedding licenses.
Already, several Washington media outlets are profiling couples to be married. The Spokane Spokesman Review profiled Retired Air Force Major Margaret Witt and Laurie Johnson will be first in line to get married. Major Witt is a decorated military veteran who fought for years to help topple the nation’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy so that lesbian and gay service members could serve their country in the military.
The Seattle Times told the story of Paul Harris and James Griener, who have been together for nearly 40 years. Paul, age 64, has been processing marriage licenses for the Clark County Auditor for over 27 years. “After decades of giving other people marriage licenses, I’m overjoyed to be able to get one myself and finally marry my partner of nearly 40 years,” Paul says.
Marriage news is currently happening across the country. For same-sex couples in Maine, Maryland and Washington, marriage equality became a reality through the ballot box. These three states are the first to support marriage equality through a public vote. If the U.S. Supreme Court decides to deny review of the Proposition 8 case, marriage equality will resume in California. GLAAD is working to share the stories of couples in these states in an effort to show others that marriage is about love and commitment.