Same-sex couples can start applying for marriage licenses today in Washington, after the Supreme Court yesterday refused to block a law permitting gay marriage, and at least 16 couples were waiting at 7:15am inside the courthouse just blocks from the US Capitol that houses the marriage bureau. Sinjoyla Townsend, 41, and her partner of 12 years, Angelisa Young, 47, claimed the first spot in line just after 6am. "It's like waking up Christmas morning," Young said.
Washington will be the sixth place in the nation where gay marriages can take place. Because of a mandatory waiting period, however, couples won't actually be able to marry until March 9. The marriage bureau has changed its license applications so they ask for the name of each "spouse" rather than the "bride" and "groom." And a booklet for marriage ceremonies to be performed in the courthouse now reads, "I now pronounce you legally married" instead of "I now pronounce you man and wife."