King County executive to sign same-sex marriage licenses at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 6

November 15, 2012

By Staff

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Nov. 15, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine plans to open the King County Recorder’s Office at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 6 to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The time comes immediately upon certification of Nov. 6 election results. Constantine intends to sign King County’s first marriage license for a same-sex couple at 12:01 a.m.

“I don’t want couples to wait a minute longer than legally necessary to get the rights that voters have recognized,” he said in a statement.

The move makes King County the first jurisdiction in the United States to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on voter approval. Voters in Washington, Maryland, and Maine approved same-sex initiatives on Election Day, but the laws in Maryland and Maine do not take effect until January.

Under Washington law, couples must wait three days before the actual marriage ceremony may be performed.

The recorder’s office is open extra hours to accommodate the expected rush of same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses.

Couples can start lining up at 10 p.m. Dec. 5. The office is open until 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6, and then from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

The same-sex marriage measure on the Nov. 6 ballot, Referendum 74, garnered 53 percent approval statewide.

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