Today marks the first day that same-sex couples in Washington can obtain marriage licenses, after voters in November legalized the marriage equality law passed earlier this year by the legislature and signed yesterday by Gov. Christine Gregoire. Washington state law mandates a three-day waiting period between licensing and a ceremony, so the first day LGBT Washingtonians can actually get married is Sunday.
The first to be awarded a marriage license in King County (which includes Seattle) were Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, and Pete-e Petersen, 85, a lesbian couple who have been together for more than 30 years. As King County Executive Dow Constantine used the same pen the Governor used to sign marriage equality into law to sign the women's marriage license, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was there with a camera to record the historic moment. Watch that video below.
Lighty and Petersen, both grandparents, were active in the campaign to approve Referendum 74, appearing in a pro-equality ad aired by Washington United for Families. "To have our 35-year loving relationship publicly honored and celebrated and have this be a legal marriage means everything to the both of us," Lighty told Seattle's KomoNews.
"In our marriage ceremony Sunday evening, both of us will be honored and privileged to represent not only ourselves but the greater community," added Petersen.
Both King County and Thurston County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 12:01 a.m. today. By 3:30 a.m., King county had issued more than 300 marriage licenses, breaking its single-day record. On average, the county issues between 75 and 100 licenses, reports the the San Francisco Chronicle.