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Friday, November 16, 2012

Get Married at City Hall on December 9

Posted by on Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Posted yesterday, moved up.

In New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa, Washington D.C., and other places where marriage equality has been achieved, crowds of same-sex couples wanted to marry on the very first day. Some couples had been together for decades and were anxious to make it official, some had already had their commitment ceremonies and wanted to seal the deal with that piece of paper, and others wanted to marry on what would on an historic day. Joyful scenes played out in at city halls and on courthouse steps as same-sex couples married in front of cheering crowds of friends, families, and supporters.

We can expect to see the same joyful scenes right here early next month. Same-sex couples can start applying for marriage licenses in Washington state starting on December 6, and—because there's a three-day waiting period to get married here—same-sex couples will start getting legally married in Washington on Sunday, December 9. (Eli Sanders runs you through the logistical details here.)

Mayor Mike McGinn is opening Seattle City Hall's gorgeous lobby to all couples who want to marry on December 9. Judges have volunteered to perform weddings for free and the Stranger is working with Jennifer Zeyl and Alicia Berger and other local scenic artists to create four tasteful and dignified pop-up wedding "chapels" in the lobby of City Hall. There won't be anything silly or camp or ironic about the pop-up chapel instillations. The doors at City Hall will open at 11 AM on December 9 and any couple who comes with their paperwork will be able to get married at City Hall between noon and 5 PM.

The Stranger is kicking in $2000 to help pay for materials and Stranger staff members—many of whom worked phone banks for R-74—are volunteering their time to help pull this together. This isn't about staging a Moonie-style mass wedding, but creating a beautiful spot for couples who wish to marry on that first day. We're going to need more volunteers to help out at City Hall on December 9 and we're looking for donations of refreshments for people waiting in line. Contact if you want to volunteer or make a donation.

We've heard from clubs and theaters and organizations that are planning celebrations and open-to-all wedding receptions for later in the evening and we'll be sharing details about those parties and receptions as they become available. More details to come.


Comments (42) RSS

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rob! 1
Please do lots of video, if the participants are amenable, so those of us in the back of beyond can kvell to our hearts' content.
Posted by rob! on November 15, 2012 at 3:45 PM · Report this
Womyn2me 2
I am there. count on it. We are ready. We are printing up card invites tonight. is there a paypal for helping out financially with the arrangements. Can you bring the Pulitzer so I can carry it as a bouguet?
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\ on November 15, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
Awesome! Congrats to all!
Posted by StuckInUtah on November 15, 2012 at 4:50 PM · Report this
Dan, are you and Terry going to get married in WA now that you can? On 12/9 or on your wedding anniversary, whatever that is? (I vote for the anniversary, just to keep it meaningful.) Because the whole "HICBIA" thing has been silly from the start.
Posted by Action Kate on November 15, 2012 at 4:51 PM · Report this
reverend dr dj riz 6
@3.. it was in the fine print in a footnote of page 467 of the gay agenda. you probably didn't read that far.
Posted by reverend dr dj riz on November 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM · Report this
Griffin 7
If you'll accept online payments, I'll chip in--it's the best I can do from afar.
Posted by Griffin on November 15, 2012 at 5:24 PM · Report this
internet_jen 9
Dow Constantine was on KUOW today. He mentioned that these initial licenses will be signed by him personally, instead of a stamped signature, with one of the pens Gregoire used to sign the bill into law.
Posted by internet_jen on November 15, 2012 at 5:30 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 10
#3 Because Homosexuals had to FIGHT for the right to get married and this is one of the spoils of a War the Hetero-haters lost. Suck it up bitch.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on November 15, 2012 at 5:57 PM · Report this
leek 11
@8, I can't answer for The Gays (esp. since I'm straight) but I think that's so charming! What a great way to show real support and solidarity.
Posted by leek on November 15, 2012 at 5:59 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 12
Noooo! The first weddings were supposed to be on the 10th! You've ruined my birthday! McGinn just can't stop ruining things, can he?
Posted by MacCrocodile on November 15, 2012 at 6:24 PM · Report this
Can opposite-sex couples participate in this event? My partner and I agreed that if R-74 passed we would get married and we were hoping to do it at an event like this, but I don't want to impose on people who have waited too long for this day.
Posted by hobokinglives on November 15, 2012 at 6:47 PM · Report this
@8 and @14: I hope hetro couples can't get married that day. Thanks for your support, but it's not about you!
Posted by Dod on November 15, 2012 at 8:45 PM · Report this
leek 16
Dod, what about straight couples who postponed getting married until same-sex couples had the same right?
Posted by leek on November 15, 2012 at 9:15 PM · Report this
Agreed, leek! Dod, Isn't this event ultimately about marriage equality?
Posted by Olivia87 on November 15, 2012 at 9:32 PM · Report this
@17 - I could be convinced....
Posted by Dod on November 15, 2012 at 9:39 PM · Report this
Hey, how about the Stranger help organize satellite events in, say, Vancouver and Spokane on 12/9?

I dunno the legal issue that would be germane, but I'm sure there are plenty of Portland, Oregon area gay couples who'd welcome an opportunity to get married in the 'Couv, and the gay folk in eastern Washington (and Northern Idaho) would probably be all grateful and weepy if they could tie the knot easily and legally and communally in Spokane on the earliest possible date.
Posted by Functional Atheist on November 16, 2012 at 12:06 AM · Report this
My fiance and I are going to come down and hand out flowers to couples getting married.

We're excited!
Posted by Hanoumatoi on November 16, 2012 at 12:21 AM · Report this
smajor82 21
@15 Let me make sure I read that right - you want to celebrate marriage equality with a petty "no heteros allowed" bullshit attitude? Do everyone who works for equality a favor, and keep that shit to yourself.
Posted by smajor82 on November 16, 2012 at 7:55 AM · Report this
Marriage is (now) marriage in Washington. All y'all who wanna get married, get the fuck married. Gay, straight, or bi... you all earned this day. Celebrate together.
Posted by The fag on November 16, 2012 at 8:26 AM · Report this
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on November 16, 2012 at 9:34 AM · Report this
MAJOR POINT: If you're applying in person in downtown Seattle, you have to bring CASH ONLY. They will NOT accept checks, at least per this website:…
Posted by NotYourStrawMan on November 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
GoodOmens 26
If I were in Seattle, or even in your country, I would be volunteering at this event in a heartbeat. I've looked up the airfare, and I just can't justify it.
Dan, please post lots of photos!
Posted by GoodOmens on November 16, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 28
Everyone can get married. Everyone should get married.

Have fun!
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 16, 2012 at 11:46 AM · Report this
The event—and the chapels—is open to ALL.
Posted by Dan Savage on November 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
The Striking Viking 31
Awesome, that's my birthday! A birthday present second only to having your birthday november 6th this year...
Posted by The Striking Viking on November 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM · Report this
Hi Dan. great news about marriage.

I just sent you an email about your visit to UW-Madison on Monday. I'm really looking forward to it, assuming I can get in since tickets are out. I sent it to the email because the one didn't work. Please read my email before you come here... Thanks :)

Posted by theodora on November 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
@31, My birthday's November 6. Gotta say that I got some nice presents this year. I didn't get everything I wanted but I got a lot.
If The Stranger is accepting donations online I will chip in a little bit to help. Since I live in NYC I can't really do more than that.

Mazel Tov everyone!
Posted by moosefan on November 16, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this
Washington State--FUCK YEAH!
Posted by tiktok on November 16, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
For whoever above asked about legal same sex marriages performed elsewhere: Here is the info from the King Co Marriage licensing div:

We are a same-sex couple that got married in another jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriages. Do we need to re-apply?…

•No. On Dec. 6, 2012 at 12:01 a.m., your marriage will be recognized by the state of Washington. You do not need to apply for another marriage license
Posted by SeattleKim on November 16, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 38
It's beginning to look a lot like Marriage!
Posted by Will in Seattle on November 16, 2012 at 1:41 PM · Report this
Dingo 41
Posted by Dingo on November 16, 2012 at 3:24 PM · Report this
This is amazing and moving. I wish I lived closer and could volunteer.
Posted by Everybody on November 16, 2012 at 4:08 PM · Report this
I would like to volunteer.
Posted by sfkerr on November 16, 2012 at 8:15 PM · Report this
@SeattleKim, what if those of us married in another State want actual paper recognition here? We have our DP here, we live here, but we got married in California. We'd really like to have a WA marriage certificate. Is that possible? We certainly don't want to have to get divorced just to get a new certificate. That'd suck.
Posted by FranFW on November 16, 2012 at 8:41 PM · Report this
Tears in my eyes right now. I wish I could be there. Take lots of pics so I can cry and then post them around my new home in super-bigoted Latin America.
Posted by mellythepirate on November 16, 2012 at 9:21 PM · Report this
Tears in my eyes too. This is so beautiful and take lots of pictures not just to spread the joy but because I truly believe it was those first pictures of obvious love and joy in the eyes of folks being married in those massive first gay weddings at city halls that swayed people away from some of their anti-gay views. I have long noticed that personal experience trumps ideology and I believe the rhetoric and ideology of hate was not able to stand against the experience people felt of genuine love when they viewed those pictures. Keep the love rolling.
Posted by heartfelt on November 17, 2012 at 5:57 AM · Report this
Sara Long 48
Came here for the Vancouver question. What's going on in Clark County (and Spokane for that matter)? I'm in Portland, I've shot friends' weddings, and I want to show up with a rainbow silk bouquet and a wedding arch and give any couple who wants one a memorable, FREE photo. This is what the wedding photos of our precious, tragically short-lived marriages looked like here in 2004:

Also, straight couples: Just let the gay couples go first on December 9. In some instances, they've been waiting more decades to get married than you've been alive; you can wait a few extra hours.
Posted by Sara Long on November 17, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Report this
@48: great answer to the question of straight couples on the ninth: There are some times when the majority have to sit in the back and know their (our) place (I am not joking.)

Some day we will all be queer (I pity anyone who thinks their sex is actually "normal", the same as everyone else), and we all realize that we are in fact already from a mixed ethnic background (though I love love love our differences because they are fun and fun is good), until then the spear tip goes on the front of the spear, not in the middle.

Cheers, tears and laughter everyone!

PS: after the fight is over (we win) we all need to take up some extreme sport to fill the void
Posted by SifuMark on November 17, 2012 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Kevin_BGFH 53
Out of curiosity, what are the residency requirements for Washington? (And Maryland and Maine, for that matter.) Some states require at least one party be a state resident. Some require that the license be applied for at least 5 days before its filed (reducing quickie marriages, I guess). Massachusetts used to have an archaic law saying that out-of-staters could only be married if their home state would allow it -- an old anti-miscegenation law that then-Governor Mitt Romney dredged up to stop gays from vacationing in Massachusetts simply to get married. (Law has subsequently been repealed.) Anyone, even though I'm single, I tend to be the one my friends ask these sorts of questions to. Anything preventing someone from California or Oregon going up to get married?
Posted by Kevin_BGFH on November 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM · Report this
Geni 54
This is totally making me cry. I intend to be there with flowers and bubbles for the happy couples. LOVE WINS!
Posted by Geni on November 18, 2012 at 7:20 PM · Report this
Emailed the link above to volunteer to help. No reply yet but I'm sure you guys are busy. My background is event management and volunteer coordination. But I'll do anything that needs to be done! Let me know if you'd like help...
Posted by bethmv on November 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Qwynn Studios 58
I'm a videographer who will be around filming all willing subjects. The blond girl with the camera standing outside, if you are getting married and would like to film your ceremony, grab me. I am so happy for your big day! Congratulations! Also, I hope it goes without saying, it's free, and I'm good!
Posted by Qwynn Studios http:// on November 29, 2012 at 10:28 AM · Report this

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