Gay WashIngton State Couples Get Marriage Licenses - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: Gay Washington State Couples Get Marriage Licenses

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Photo courtesy: KIRO TV in Seattle, WA Photo courtesy: KIRO TV in Seattle, WA
© Couples line up outside of the Spokane County Courthouse Thursday morning © Couples line up outside of the Spokane County Courthouse Thursday morning
Here is the first couple getting their marriage license at the Spokane County Courthouse.....and look who it is.... Margaret Witt and her partner. You'll remember Witt was suspended in 2004 under the "don't ask, don't tell." Here is the first couple getting their marriage license at the Spokane County Courthouse.....and look who it is.... Margaret Witt and her partner. You'll remember Witt was suspended in 2004 under the "don't ask, don't tell."

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Auditor's Office reports that staff processed 28 marriage applications Thursday, with 23 issued to same gender couples.

As of 4:00 PM, the total number of marriage licenses issued to same gender couples on the first day that R-74 became effective is 769. This total is for 38 of the 39 counties; 1 small county with low population did not report in by 4:29pm to be included in Thursday night's total.  Since some offices, including King County, will remain open until as late as 8:00 PM tonight, the final total of marriage licenses issued will not be available until Friday morning. 

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane couples were waiting in line since 5 a.m. Thursday morning waiting to get their marriage license. Thursday is the first day same-sex couples can apply for a license. KHQ talked to the first and second couples who were in line.

Chris and Matt were excited that the state now recognizes how much they love each other. Kelly and Ali are excited to make it official. Kelly said she can't wait to call Alli her wife. Both couples plan to get married bed week.

They have to wait until after Sunday. Chris and Matt are tying the knot on Sunday, and Kelly and Amy are saying "I do" on Thursday.

Margaret Witt and her partner also got their marriage license today. You'll remember Witt was suspended in 2004 under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy after her commanders learned she was in a lesbian relationship with a civilian woman.

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SEATTLE (AP) - Dozens of same-sex Washington state couples have obtained their marriage licenses - just hours after the law legalizing gay marriage took effect.
    
Washington state joins several other states that allow gay and lesbian couples to wed after voters approved Referendum 74 last month. The measure asked voters to either approve or reject the state law legalizing same-sex marriage that legislators passed earlier this year. Nearly 54 percent approved.
    
King County opened the doors to its auditor's office just after midnight Thursday to start distributing marriage licenses. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the law hours earlier on Wednesday.
    
Hundreds of people waited on a chilly night for hours, but the mood was festive. Some people sang "Going to the Chapel."

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KHQ.COM - On Wednesday Gov. Chris Gregoire and Sec. of State Sam Reed certified the election of Referendum 74, surrounded by couples and community members who have long supported marriage equality.

"For the past twenty years we've been saying just one more step. Just one more fight. Just one more law. But now we can stop saying ‘just one more.' This is it. We are here. We did it," said Gregoire. "In just a few hours, all Washington families will have the opportunity to receive a marriage license. As one of three states in the nation where voters affirmed marriage equality at the ballot box - there is no more resounding endorsement. I thank them for standing up for what is right."

At the certification, Gregoire and Sec. Reed were joined by community members and three couples: Marcy Kulland and Terry Virgona; Ryan Mello and Jerry Hallman; and Heather Kawmoto and Kay Lancaster. Kawmoto and Lancaster will be among the many couples in our state to be married on Sunday.

"I thank the couples joining us here today who have waited far too long for this moment," said Gregoire. "It's been one long engagement, thanks for waiting! You represent who we are as a state, young and old, public servants, parents, volunteers, and families. You are who we all stood up through this fight. And you are the ones that will show our next generation that yes, it does get better. That we are all in this together. And that there is no more important thing than love." 

Gregoire signed marriage equality legislation of February of this year after passing in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The referendum, passed by Washington state voters in November, allows same-sex couples to legally marry in the state.

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SPOKANE, Wash. - With the passage of Referendum 74, same gender couples will be able to apply for marriage licenses beginning on Thursday, December 6, 2012. Marriage licenses are issued in the Spokane County Auditor's Office - Recording. Couples planning to be married on December 12th (12/12/12) must apply no later than Friday, December 7, 2012.

Where: Spokane County Courthouse, 1st floor (Customer Service Center)

1116 W. Broadway Avenue, Spokane, WA

(Courthouse doors open at 7:00 a.m., with security screening into the main hallway beginning at 7:30 a.m.)   

When: Thursday, December 6, 2012          

8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Friday, December 7, 2012 – business hours extended one day only!       

8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

What to bring:

  • $58 cash or check (no credit or debit cards accepted)
  • Identification indicating age (state-issued photo ID preferred)

Requirements:

  • 18 years of age or older (17 years of age if parent/guardian consent)
  • No current spouse
  • No current registered domestic partner, unless it's the other party to this marriage

Questions about Same Gender Marriage

The Auditor's Office staff can only answer questions related to the marriage application process.  We cannot answer questions related to the effects of marriage, such as legal name change, impact on benefits or recognition in other states.  Legal Voice, a nonprofit entity, has developed a series of questions and answers that may be useful to same gender couples.  The link to their FAQ is

http://legalvoice.org/news/documents/QAMarriageforSame-SexCouplesinWA-11-29-12.pdf

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Ten same-sex couples in Thurston County will be among the first to receive their marriage licenses right as the new law allowing gay marriage in Washington takes effect on Thursday morning.
    
Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman held a lottery on Monday to pick from 15 couples that had sent in a request to receive their license at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. King County, home to Seattle, already planned to start issuing licenses at that time.
    
Last month, 54 percent of voters approved Referendum 74, which asked people to approve or reject a state law legalizing same-sex marriage that legislators passed earlier this year. That law was signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire but was on hold pending the outcome of the election.

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