The Straits Times
Published on Dec 09, 2012

Same-sex couples say "I do" in Washington state for first time


SEATTLE (REUTERS) - As midnight chimed in Washington state, a lesbian couple exchanged vows in the first of hundreds of mass weddings on Sunday, Dec 9 - the first day that same-sex couples can legally tie the knot there.

Washington, Maine and Maryland became the first US states to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples by a popular vote in November, in a leap forward for gay rights.

Washington's law went into effect on Thursday, Dec 6, when hundreds of couples lined up to apply for marriage licences, and the first legal same-sex weddings began on Sunday after a three-day waiting period required of all marriages expired.

Judge Mary Yu stepped up to wed a dozen couples at the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle. The first couple to say "I do" were Sarah and Emily Cofer, who have been together for over 10 years, the court said.