City Hall in Seattle, Wash.
Seattle Prepares for Gay Weddings

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com November 17 2012 8:36 AM ET

In the wake of Washington state's passage of Referendum 74, which enacted marriage equality in the northwestern state, officials are gearing up for an influx of weddings.

Same-sex couples can begin marrying on December 6, and local officials are anticipating a rush to the altar, reports the Seattle Times. King County Executive Dow Constantine told the Times that he will open the Seattle Recorder's Office just after midnight on December 6, ready to legally marry the first same-sex couples in Washington. Constantine told the Times he'll be on site and ready to sign marriage licenses immediately after midnight, making Washington the first state to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples after legalizing marriage equality by popular vote. Once couples receive a marriage license, they must wait three days to hold a ceremony, according to Washington state law.

Maine and Maryland voters also approved marriage equality at the ballot box on November 6, marking the first time in history LGBT relationship recognition has been affirmed by a majority of voters. And Minnesota voters rejected a proposal to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, another historic first for the country.