Counties set to provide marriage licenses to lesbian and gay couples

Associated Press
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December 4, 2012

Ten same-sex couples were selected in a lottery Monday to receive some of the first licenses issued under the new Washington state law allowing gay marriage. Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman held the lottery involving 15 couples that sought to receive their license at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. King County, which includes Seattle, also plans to start issuing licenses at that time but did not stage a lottery. Couples there will begin lining up at 10 p.m. Wednesday, and the county will issue licenses from 12:01 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Thurston County will close its office after the first 10 licenses are issued at 12:01 a.m. but will reopen for extended hours from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. "This is a historic event in Washington," Wyman said. "We're very excited and we want to commemorate that event, and we look forward to giving all of these couples a license." Last month, 54 percent of voters approved Referendum 74 regarding a state law passed by legislators earlier this year that legalized same-sex marriage. The law had been signed by Gov. Chris Gregoire but was on hold pending the outcome of the referendum.