Wash. Begins Gay Marriages at Midnight

Couples line up for 1st chance to marry legally
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 9, 2012 5:41 AM CST
Wash. Begins Gay Marriages at Midnight
Judge Mary Yu embraces Emily Cofer, right, and Sarah Cofer after declaring them wed moments after midnight in the in the King County Courthouse, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.   (Elaine Thompson)

Same-sex couples in Washington state started saying wedding vows early today, just minutes into the first day they could marry after the state's gay marriage law took effect. Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples picked up their marriage licenses as early as 12:01am Thursday, but because of the state's three-day waiting period, the earliest weddings could take place was just after midnight. Some courthouses opened right at midnight, and started marrying couples. Seattle City Hall will open for several hours today starting at 10am, and several local judges are donating their time to marry couples there.

At the Thurston County Courthouse five couples were married, including Jonathon Bashford, 31, and Matthew Wiltse, 29, a couple for 10 years who said they wanted to be among the first. "We weren't going to wait one second longer," Wiltse said. Same-sex couples who previously were married in another state that allows gay marriage, like Massachusetts, will not have to get remarried in Washington state. Their marriages became valid here as soon as the law took effect. The US Supreme Court on Friday said it will take up gay marriage sometime during the current term. (More gay marriage stories.)

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