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Gay Washington state couples get marriage licenses

December 7, 2012 • National News


Deb Dulaney, left, watches as her partner, Diane McGee, fills out paperwork for their marriage license at the Thurston County Auditor’s office at the courthouse, on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, in Olympia, Wash. Washington state’s new voter-approved gay marriage law took effect Thursday, and couples across the state began picking up licenses and can start marrying as soon as Sunday. (AP Photo/Rachel La Corte)

SEATTLE (AP) — Hundreds of same-sex couples across Washington state started picking up marriage licenses Thursday as a voter-approved law legalizing gay marriage took effect.

King County, the state’s largest, opened the doors to its auditor’s office in Seattle just after midnight to start distributing licenses. But hundreds of people had lined up hours earlier, snaking around the building on a chilly December night. The county said it issued 489 marriage licenses Thursday, mostly to same-sex couples, breaking a previous daily record of 212. On average, King County issues 75 to 100 marriage licenses a day.

The mood in Seattle was festive in the overnight waiting line.

“We waited a long time. We’ve been together 35 years, never thinking we’d get a legal marriage. Now I feel so joyous I can’t hardly stand it,” said 85-year-old Pete-e Petersen, who with her partner, 77-year-old Jane Abbott Lighty, were the first to get a license.

After meeting 35 years ago on a blind date in Sacramento, Lighty and Petersen plan to get married Sunday. The couple has been out buying shoes and clothes for the Login to read more

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