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Washington (State)

Election results certified; gay marriage in Washington state legal at midnight

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday certified the state’s election results, and in doing so signed into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state.

“This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington,” Gregoire said before signing the measure that officially certified the election results. “For many years now we’ve said one more step, one more step. And this is our last step for marriage equality in the state of Washington.”

The law takes effect Thursday, and King County, the state’s largest county and home to Seattle, and Thurston County, home to the state capital of Olympia, will open at 12:01 a.m. tonight to begin issuing marriage licenses to eager gay and lesbian couples.

Thurston County held a lottery on Monday, awarding ten couples the first in line to legally register there after midnight. In Pierce County, home of Tacoma, a majority of voters didn’t approve the marriage ballot initiative, but the recorder’s office is extending hours through the weekend anyway.

In Snohomish County, the Auditor’s Office announced it will work through the lunch hour and after 5 p.m. on Thursday, if necessary.

Because of the state’s mandatory three-day waiting period, the earliest that same-sex weddings can take place is Sunday.

Washington state is one of three states in which voters approved marriage equality measures on Nov. 6, approving the ballot measure with 54 percent of the vote; the other states were Maryland and Maine.

Maryland’s law takes effect Jan. 1, however couples can start picking up marriage licenses on Thursday, as long as the license has an effective date of Jan. 1. In Maine, the law takes effect on Dec. 29, and there is no mandatory waiting period.

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30 more reader comments:

  1. Sweeeeeeeeeeeeet! :o)

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:15pm
  2. YAY

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:16pm
  3. yay!! :)

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:17pm
  4. Dana De Azevedo Sam Briggs Elizabeth Pryor can i get a whoot whoot

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:17pm
  5. My partner and I (soon to be my wife and I) will be one of ten couples picking up our licenses tonight at the state Capital in Olympia!!! YAAAAAAHOOOOOO!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:18pm
  6. Now all I need is someone who will want to be with me for the rest of my life. xD Fantastic.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:19pm
  7. This is another over due Victoryyyyyy

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:21pm
  8. Wow nice *.*

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:21pm
  9. Nice we are finally learning

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:23pm
  10. One state at a time!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:25pm
  11. Whoot whoot! :-) except now carrie wants to get married…. oy! LOL!

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:26pm
  12. Yes!!! Now we just need to get the rest of the country caught up on this idea. Just imagine you could marry anyone you wanted to because you love them.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:30pm
  13. Awesome!

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:30pm
  14. so cool :)

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:32pm
  15. Florida?? when for us

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:39pm
  16. my kisses to you all in washington hopefully it will it us all later <3

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:41pm
  17. Very happy for you Diana Wickman! And Everyone else in Washingon.

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:50pm
  18. Proud to be a Washingtonian!

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 6:51pm
  19. SoAwesome

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:02pm
  20. congrats Washington

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:03pm
  21. wtf

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:04pm
  22. YAY!

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:21pm
  23. Re: @Eric Washington. Is that a problem?

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:22pm
  24. WTG !! This is what I love hearing!! <3.<3

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:56pm
  25. Wonderful! Congratulations to anyone and everyone planning on getting married♥

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:58pm
  26. YAY}

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 8:23pm
  27. This is awesome

    Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 8:47pm
  28. Omg we are so excited. We will get married after 10 yrs . With our beautiful daughters holding our hands.

    Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 2:33am
  29. Good show – yes times are a changing and is for the better..

    Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 5:41am
  30. I’m happy I was able to help make this a reality.

    Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 8:29am