SEATTLE (AP) — Nearly 400 marriage licenses had been issued to gay couples in Seattle by noon Thursday, just 12 hours after the state of Washington began allowing gay marriages.
King County opened the doors to its auditor’s office in Seattle just after midnight to start distributing marriage licenses. Hundreds of people had lined up hours earlier, snaking around the downtown Seattle building on a chilly December night.
Because the state has a three-day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday.
Other Washington state counties also opened early to start issuing marriage licenses. Seven same-sex couples in Yakima received marriage licenses on Thursday.
Eighty-five-year-old Pete-e Petersen and her partner, 77-year-old Jane Abbott Lightly, were first in line in Seattle. Petersen says they’ve been together for 35 years, never thinking they’d get a legal marriage.
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