Same-Sex Marriage Officially Legal in Washington State

Same-Sex Marriage Officially Legal in Washington State
Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 12:46pm

In another sweeping change for Washington, Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday signed into law a measure legalizing same-sex marriage.

The state joins several others that allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.

More than 200 couples were lined up at the county courthouse in Seattle. 

77 year old Jane Abbott Lightly and 85 year old Petee Petersen were the first to apply for a marriage license. 

"To be number one is really humbling, you know, because I think of all the people who have worked very hard and looked forward to this day. And to be here, I hope they realize, we're just a symbol and all of them are right behind us." said Petee Petersen

The two have been together for 35 years but it will be three more days until they are technically married in the eyes of the state. 

That's because the state has a three day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday.

Washington is the first state to put the new law into effect.  Maine will follow on Dec. 29 and Maryland on Jan. 1 as the result of votes in those states on similar ballot measures.

The other six states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. Washington, D.C. also allows gays and lesbians to marry.

Federal governemnt will not recognize same-sex marriage, it is prohibited by the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

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