Gay and lesbian couples in Washington can start applying for marriage licenses Thursday, and county officials, activists, and happy couples are getting ready to celebrate in style.
State law requires a three-day waiting period between the licensing and a ceremony, meaning the first day LGBT couples can wed in Washington will be Sunday. This makes Washington the first state to enact marriage equality secured by popular vote. Gov. Christine Gregoire is scheduled to certify the election results today, and simultaneously sign into law the legislation she introduced in February, reports the Seattle Times.
On Sunday, Dan Savage, gay columnist and founder of the It Gets Better Project, plans to host a mass same-sex wedding inside Seattle City Hall, reports Towleroad. Savage teamed up with set designer Jen Zeyl to create beautiful, intimate settings more than 140 couples wanting to get married at City Hall, and will be orchestrating the mass weddings free of charge. Watch Savage explain the project in the video below.
Both King and Thurston counties will open their offices at 12:01a.m. Thursday to begin issuing licenses to same-sex couples eager to make their long-standing commitments legal in the eyes of the state. The Seattle Times compiled a heartwarming report on the first same-sex couples slated to obtain marriage licenses tomorrow. Many of the couples have been together for decades, including Clark County Auditor's Office manager Paul Harris, who will finally be able to marry his partner after four decades of handing out licenses only to straight couples. Harris and his partner, James Greiner, will be the first to obtain a marriage license in Clark County at 8 a.m. tomorrow, according to the Times.
"This is always what's been all about — making people's dreams come true," said Zach Silk, campaign manager for Washington United for Marriage, which led the campaign to approve Referendum 74, establishing marriage equality. "Tomorrow is a proud and joyful day for all Washingtonians. And for those of us from the campaign, we are so very grateful to the thousands of volunteers and donors who made it possible for everyone to marry the person they love."