Love Wins! Gay Weddings Began Today In Washington State

Washington State (and Seattle, especially) was bursting at the seams with joyful gay weddings today.

Voters legalized state recognition of same-sex marriage on Election Day, couples were able to get marriage licences on Thursday, and (after the mandatory three-day waiting period) today was the first day same-sex couples could legally get married within Washington State.

Normally, state and county offices wouldn’t be available to marry couples on a Sunday, but droves of judges have volunteered their time to marry couples for free. The Stranger, a local newspaper, even donated volunteer hours and money to create wedding boutiques around Seattle’s City Hall.

For all of you who love weddings — and maybe even have a tendency to cry at every one you attend — here is a stream of happy couples who now have their wedding licenses. For more pictures, you can check out the coverage from The Seattle Times, The Tacoma TribuneThe Stranger, Komo News, and this community Flickr pool. Update: More pictures from The Stranger and BuzzFeed.

About Ericka M. Johnson

As a lover of science and reason, Ericka M. Johnson has an affinity for evolutionary biology and is the president of Seattle Atheists. She revels in any opportunity for a thoughtful debate on the meaning of life, the universe, and everything (especially over a pint.) Follow her on twitter @ErickaMJohnson

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    An awesome day for marriage equality. My favorite photos at the links are folks with signs saying “32 years” and such. Very cool that their day is finally a reality.

    Meanwhile, I have to ask…. is the informal attire (t-shirts, sweat shirts, etc) mainly due to this being a civil (courthouse/city hall) ceremony, or is it a west coast thing, or younger generation thing, or something else?

  • Worden Report

    In Washington, the democratic principle of majority vote dovetails with the judiciary’s role in recognizing individual rights even when they conflict with majority rule. In New Jersey, Christie has claimed that the majority principle trumps the role of the court. See

  • Liz Muia Frost

    The most informal one (with Dan Savage) isn’t them getting married, it’s the day they got their license, and it was probably 2 am.

  • Phil

    Here’s a pic from today, after the joyous event.  Dan and Terry dress up nice!

  • ErickaMJohnson

    Sorry for the confusion. Liz is right. I mixed pictures of just wed couples with pictures from Thursday when couples were getting their licences. There was just so many happy couples, I wanted to highlight both days.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Cool, Thanks! Great photo. 

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    OK, Thanks. This makes sense to me now. 

    Basically, these photos are folks stopping by the municipal building to pick up the legal paperwork (license), but is not the actual wedding (which is a ceremony each couple can have, or not, at a separate event of their choosing).

    I barely remember going to the city hall way back when I got married , but I’m sure I didn’t dress up for that either! 

    Thanks for the insights.

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Cool, Thanks. Happy days. Great photos. 

  • Richard Wade

    Scrolling down these wonderful pictures, I was crying before I reached the second one. Now after the tenth I’m happy, but need to rest. I’ll look at the others later. I’m glad I’m a sentimental slob. There’s so much more sweetness to life, I don’t mind the occasionally bitter.

    So much joy and relief after so many years of sorrow and frustration, so many months of anticipation, and so many hours of suspense on election day. I’m glad I’m alive to see a good part of history being made. And good for you, judges, The Stranger, and so many people who gave of themselves to help these couples have happy weddings!

  • Sue Blue

    Beautiful!  I’m so happy and proud to live in Washington State!  Congratulations to all the happy couples.

  • the moother

    Normal people see touching images…

    Normal people + religion see the devil’s work.

  • Piet Puk

    Wow, so happy for these folks! Love is a beautiful thing :)

  • ErickaMJohnson

    I’ve been crying a lot too. It’s all just so beautiful, so happy. My heart is bursting with joy and gratitude to all of the people who worked to make this day happen.

  • Tim

    Had me in tears too.

    And then I was reminded of my own wedding, which got me crying all over again.

    Congratulations to all the couples.

    These photos make the argument for love more strongly than any words..

  • ESC_key

    Love wins in Washington today, and I get to be overwhelmed with joy for two reasons: 1) Because of the sight of so many happy couples finally being able to realize their dreams without discrimination, and 2) Because we get to be alive to see days like this! It’s such a wonderful feeling, and I hope as the bravest and best among us continue the fight for equality everywhere, we get to see many more days like this in our future. Congratulations and best wishes to every happy couple!!!

  • chicago dyke

    i sort of feel sorry for some of these 1st day folks. in the sense that a wedding takes planning, and they had no way to be sure that it would be legalized. gay people love to be Fabulous, and it’s very hard to do a fabulous wedding with only a little planning time to pull it off. 

    still: mazel tov! (heh, i’ve loved that phrase since i first learned it as a little girl, forgive me Hemant)

  • Desiree Bell-Fowlks

    Now i’m getting teary looking at the happy couples. I can’t look at the links without the fear of crying. Yay love!!!

  • Christy

    I got all teary!  Love it!

  • Miss_Beara

    The first photo of the two elderly women in The Seattle Times… sniffle. 35 years together and only now could get their marriage license. Better incredibly late than never I suppose! 

    People who think this is a sign of the end of times or unnatural or ugly or “against god’s plan” are mental defectives. Love is love, no matter the gender.  Marriage does not equal procreation although they can adopt, like that one couple in the photos with seven adopted children. Of course, the same people that think it is unnatural and a sin are also strongly against them adopting. 

    I hope this comes to my state soon!

  • pagansister

    Such joy in those pictures!    Am so very happy that Washington state has joined the states that realize that allowing same gender couples to marry is the RIGHT thing to do.  Much happiness to all those folks. 

  • The Other Weirdo

     Isn’t that stereotyping?

  • Mike Webster

    I wondered why I woke up today and my marriage felt like it was in a shambles.  
    Seriously, those are some wonderful pictures.  Congratulations to all the happy couples!

  • ReadsInTrees

    I know that same-sex marriage is destroying my holy matrimony. It caused me to go to the doctor today to have an IUD put in so that my husband and I could have loads of Biblical knowledge without procreation!

  • ReadsInTrees

    I loved some of the ones I saw popping up around online in Thursday. There was one of two older bearded gentlemen getting their license who were wearing camo ball caps (one a Winchester hat, the other a GMC hat), flannel shirts, gray hooded sweatshirts, and matching down jackets. One was holding his cane, the other had on a Harley Davidson shirt under his flannel….just a couple of old rednecks. Destroying traditional marriage AND destroying traditional homophobic stereotypes all in the same day!

  • ReadsInTrees

    Squeee! I just found another picture of them on The Seattle Times:

  • nakedanthropologist

    This is beautiful and awesome! Congrats to all the happy couples and a wonderful “huzzah!” to the great state of Washington – you guys are leading the way and hopefully the rest of our nation can put aside prejudice and follow this great example!