Marriage Equality Update


Washington Governor Christine Gregoire certified election results yesterday afternoon. This morning, the state auditors office began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Zack Ford gives the rundown on some of the nuptials in King County, which opened its doors just after midnight this morning:

One of [the] couples was JP Persall and Diana Wickman, who have been together for 10 years. They both served 22 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, where they managed to meet and fell in love in spite of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The couple who received the very first marriage license, though, was Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, and Pete-e Peterson, 85, who have been together over 35 years. They met on a blind date in 1977 and believed they would die before they could legally wed.

Also on hand was Dan Savage. He married his husband Terry Miller in Canada in 2005, but decided to use the occasion to renew their vows now that it’s legal in the state where they live (in the country where they live).

Eli Sanders reported from the scene this morning, where 279 licenses were issued before 6am. Meanwhile, in Maryland, Governor O'Malley just signed the results of the 2012 election into law, stipulating that same-sex couples can get married there starting January 1, 2013. In Maine, the third state with a marriage equality ballot measure victory, same-sex couples can tie the knot even sooner – on December 29. And, on the more distant horizon, Illinois voters could decide in favor of same-sex marriage as soon as January. 

(Photo:  Jane Abbott Lighty, left, and Pete-e Petersen embrace after receiving the first same-sex marriage license in Washington state at the King County Recorder's Office on December 6, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. By David Ryder/Getty Images)