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

(Newser) – 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.

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.
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)
Judge Mary Yu smiles as she declares Sarah Cofer, left, and Emily Cofer wed moments after midnight in the King County Courthouse, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.
Judge Mary Yu smiles as she declares Sarah Cofer, left, and Emily Cofer wed moments after midnight in the King County Courthouse, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.   (Elaine Thompson)
Brendon Taga, left,  and Jesse Page take their wedding vows in the early hours in the King County Courthouse, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.
Brendon Taga, left, and Jesse Page take their wedding vows in the early hours in the King County Courthouse, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.   (Elaine Thompson)
Matthew Wiltse, left, and Jonathon Bashford arrive at the courtroom they'll be married in just after midnight on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.
Matthew Wiltse, left, and Jonathon Bashford arrive at the courtroom they'll be married in just after midnight on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.   (Rachel La Corte)
Matthew Wiltse, right, and Jonathon Bashford, left, hold hands as they are married at the Thurston County Courthouse just after midnight on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.
Matthew Wiltse, right, and Jonathon Bashford, left, hold hands as they are married at the Thurston County Courthouse just after midnight on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.   (Rachel La Corte)
Matthew Wiltse, right, and Jonathon Bashford, left, kiss after they took their wedding vows at the Thurston County Courthouse just after midnight on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.
Matthew Wiltse, right, and Jonathon Bashford, left, kiss after they took their wedding vows at the Thurston County Courthouse just after midnight on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.   (Rachel La Corte)
Judge Mary Yu reaches to embrace Emily Cofer, left, and Sarah Cofer after declaring them wed moments after midnight in the in the King County Courthouse, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.
Judge Mary Yu reaches to embrace Emily Cofer, left, 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)
Jesse Page, left, kisses Brendon Taga after they were married in the early hours in the King County Courthouse, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.
Jesse Page, left, kisses Brendon Taga after they were married in the early hours in the King County Courthouse, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.   (Elaine Thompson)
Judge Mary Yu looks on as Brendon Taga, right and Jesse Page sign their wedding certificate, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.
Judge Mary Yu looks on as Brendon Taga, right and Jesse Page sign their wedding certificate, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.   (Elaine Thompson)
Jesse Page, left, turns to kiss spouse Brendon Taga after their wedding vows in the King County Courthouse, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.
Jesse Page, left, turns to kiss spouse Brendon Taga after their wedding vows in the King County Courthouse, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.   (Elaine Thompson)
Brendon Taga, left,  and Jesse Page, of Vashon Island, Wash., take their vows in the King County Courthouse, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.
Brendon Taga, left, and Jesse Page, of Vashon Island, Wash., take their vows in the King County Courthouse, becoming among the first gay couples to legally wed Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Seattle.   (Elaine Thompson)
Matthew Wiltse and Jonathon Bashford, left, are married by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham just after midnight on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.
Matthew Wiltse and Jonathon Bashford, left, are married by Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham just after midnight on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Olympia, Wash.   (Rachel La Corte)
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