Seattle City Hall will open for a few
hours on Sunday, December 9 to celebrate what are expected to be the
first weddings of gay and lesbian couples in Washington state.
Eight municipal judges will be on hand
to marry couples between the hours of noon and 5PM.
Passage of Referendum 74 on November 6
allows a gay marriage law approved by lawmakers to take effect on
December 6. Washington's three-day waiting period means the state's
first weddings won't begin until Sunday.
King County Executive Dow Constantine
announced on Thursday that the King County Recorder's Office in
Seattle will open just after midnight on December 6 to begin issuing
licenses to gay couples. 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.
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 30 days after the results of the election have been
certified by the state.