What You Need to Know About Legally Marrying Your Same-Sex Partner in WA

20121201-215837.jpgAre you ready to take the plunge? Ready to get hitched? Ready to be a part of history in the making? It is time my friends! WE DID IT! All of us who are ready to get married now have the right and privilege to legally join together as wife and wife or husband and husband! How awesome is that?

Okay, so I’m sure you have many questions about how all this works and what you need to do to make this legal thing happen. That is what I’m here for! I have all the info and many more resources for you.

The first possible day you can obtain that legal license to get all married and stuff is December 6. The cost is $64 and most places will only take cash or money order. Make sure you double check with the county office you plan on going to before you get there. You can get your license at any county office in the state. That means you don’t have to make the long haul to Seattle if you live in Bellingham or Spokane or Vancouver. Here is a link to a website that lists all the county offices in the state where you can obtain your license. Many of the counties will have different things going on, so look into each one for more specific details.

King County is opening their doors at 12:01am to accommodate all the couples coming there to get their license. Dow Constantine (King County Executive) said, “I don’t want couples to wait a minute longer than legally necessary to get the rights that voters have recognized.” He will be on hand to sign the first license issued, according to the West Seattle Blog. Pierce County is having a licensing fair and will open early on December 6. Snohomish County is not opening early, but will be staying open as long as needed that day. These are the three largest counties in the State, but your local county office may have something else going on so check it out.

There is a three day waiting period. For anyone getting their license on the 6, the earliest day to get married is December 9. Also – take note – you must use your license within 60 days. So don’t go on December 6 and then wait until Valentine’s Day to get married. Okay? You will both need to bring your ID, the fee and be able to fill out the application. I’ve looked at a few forms from various counties and they have been updated to remove any gender specific language. Many of the larger counties allow you to print the form from home and fill it out. Just be sure you don’t sign anything until you get there. If you need to fill it out at home and only one of you is available to bring in the paperwork, some counties will allow for the signatures to be witnessed by a notary public instead. Please double check with the county to be sure this is something they allow. Not all of them do.

Time for the ceremony! A marriage ceremony must be performed by a licensed or ordained religious official or almost any judge. Many counties will provide a list and explanation of who can perform your ceremony. You will also need two witnesses. These witnesses cannot be performing the ceremony and are suggested to be of legal age (18 years old) as they will be signing a legal contract.

Many places around the city are throwing mass wedding opportunities to celebrate this amazing event. Here are a few links to events I found:

City Hall

Seattle Free Gay Wedding Event

Lake Union Cafe

The City of Seattle and Mayor McGinn have decided to open the doors of City Hall to marry as many couples as possible between noon and 5pm. There are several judges that have volunteered their time, The Stranger is kicking in $2000 to help offset the costs and many of their staff will be on hand to help as well. Once you get your license they ask that you email the city and request to be part of this celebration. They will send you a check in time.

Be part of history! Get excited! This is an amazingly awesome thing. We all fought hard to gain this right we have been denied for too long. I’m looking forward to finally being able to marry my wife and having it be legal in our home state. We had to go to Vancouver B.C. a few years ago to get our all important piece of legal paper. We are officially and legally wed in Canada, but here at home where we live our lives together, we are not recognized. We are beyond happy to be able to do this very important legal ceremony. It doesn’t negate what we have done already, but exercising this right is very important to us and means the world. I know there are so many other couples out there looking forward to the chance to legally marry the person they have been committed to for many years already. How empowering this will be to us all!

If you are already married in another state that recognizes same-sex marriages, you do not need to get married here. Washington State will recognize any marriage that took place in a different state. Also, if you are registered as domestic partners you do not need to get married as the domestic partnership will convert to marriage in 2014. If you don’t want to wait that long, you are certainly welcome to join in on the fun and obtaining a marriage license.

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qwrgrl says:

Everyone says that WA will recognize any marriage that took place elsewhere if accepted there, but no one is mentioning how one goes about submitting that marriage certificate for recognition.

Thank you so much for mentioning the Seattle Event!