Washington Governor Chris Gregoire on
Wednesday will certify the state's gay marriage law.
Gregoire will be joined in Olympia by
Secretary of State Sam Reed in certifying the election results.
On November 6, 54 percent of voters
approved Referendum 74, which upheld a marriage equality bill
approved by lawmakers and signed into law by Gregoire.
The new law will take effect on
Thursday. However, Washington's three-day waiting period means the
state's first weddings won't happen until Sunday.
King County Executive Dow Constantine
earlier announced that the King County Recorder's Office in Seattle
will open just after midnight on Thursday to begin issuing licenses
to gay couples. Constantine told the AP that he'll be in the office
to sign the first marriage license. Thurston County will also open
at 12:01 AM Thursday.
Seattle City Hall will open for 5 hours
on Sunday to begin celebrating what are expected to be the state's
first gay weddings.
With nearly 2 million residents, King
County is the state's most populous county, and the 14th
most populous in the United States.
Voters in Maine and Maryland also
approved initiatives legalizing such unions. But Maryland's law
won't take effect until January 1, while Maine's law is expected to
come online on Saturday, December 29.