Same-Sex Couples Get Hitched in Washington

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Dec. 9 2012 7:22 AM

Same-Sex Couples Tie the Knot in Washington for the First Time

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Lyle Martin and Oday Phimmasone apply for a marriage license at the King County Recorder's Office on December 6 in Seattle, Washington

Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images

After the clock struck midnight, same-sex couples in Washington state began exchanging wedding vows for the first time Sunday morning. Although hundreds across the state had already picked up marriage licenses as early as 12:01 a.m. Thursday, the state has a mandatory three-day waiting period for all couples meaning the first weddings could only take place early Sunday morning, explains Reuters. Some courthouses opened for the special occasion and Seattle City Hall will also open its doors for several hours Sunday as judges donate time to make sure same-sex couples can tie the knot as early as possible.

Washington was one of three states that became the first to approve marriage equality by popular vote last month. Same-sex couples in Maryland have also started picking up marriage licenses but they won’t take effect until the new year. In Maine, the law takes effect on Dec. 29 and there is no waiting period, points out the Associated Press. The images of the happy couples exchanging vows came two days after the Supreme Court said on Friday it will take up the issue of gay marriage this term. Read why Slate's Emily Bazelon "couldn't be more excited" for the cases as a journalist but "kind of terrified" as a supporter of gay marriage.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.