Washington state will become the first state to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples based on voter approval.

Voters in Maine and Maryland joined Washingtonians on November 6 in approving initiatives legalizing such unions. But Maryland's law won't take effect until January 1, while Maine's law is expected to come online 30 days after the results of the election have been certified by the state.

The King County Recorder's Office in Seattle will open just after midnight on December 6 to begin issuing licenses to gay couples, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced on Thursday.

Constantine told the AP that he'll be in the office to sign the first marriage license.

With nearly 2 million residents, King County is the state's most populous county, and the 14th most populous in the United States.

Washington's three-day waiting period means the state's first weddings won't begin until the weekend of December 8.