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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Responding to Shortage, Judges Will Open Courtrooms on Sunday to Marry Gay Couples

Posted by on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Posted yesterday and moved up, because you gotta file today in order to get married on Sunday.

After learning that City Hall is fully booked for weddings on December 9, the first day gay couples can legally wed in Washington State, King County Superior Court judge Susan Craighead called this afternoon to let me know that judges have made a plan. Judges will come into the courthouse on their day off, unpaid, to meet the demand.

Many people were told there was no room left at City Hall, Judge Craighead said on the phone, and wanted me to post this to help get the word out. "The building isn't even heated, but we are willing to be in our courtrooms marrying people as needed. The court just realized that the community needs our services, and we are happy to provide them."

With one courtroom opening at midnight, seven judges and one judicial officer will begin shifts to marry people until 8:00 p.m. (This also means, of course, that the couple first in line at City Hall won't be the first to get gay-married.) Couples need to call ahead to schedule services. I've posted phone numbers for the judges and their statement with more details after the jump.

And obviously, this is awesome.

UPDATE Thursday at 6:10 PM: King County spokesman Cameron Satterfield writes to say that "communication may have gotten crossed" and "the heat WILL be on on Sunday." HURRAH! Hot, hot weddings!

Here is the statement form Judge Craighead:

The King County Superior Court judges have learned that Seattle City Hall was unable to accommodate all of the couples who wish to wed on Sunday, December 9th. Some of our judicial officers have volunteered to come to the King County Courthouse on their own time on Sunday to do what they can to help, at no charge. Because of security arrangements at the Courthouse, couples MUST schedule a time for their wedding with one of the judicial officers listed below and make the necessary arrangements to be let in. They will also need to have obtained their marriage license on the 6th and bring that with them. Couples will need to bring two adult witnesses. If a couple wishes to schedule with one of the Superior Court judges, please call their bailiff at the number below on a first-come, first-serve basis. The courthouse is not heated on the weekend, so please dress accordingly. In the event that couples would like to schedule weddings on a later date, the complete list of judicial officers available to perform weddings can be found at

Judicial Officers who are available are:

Judge Mary Yu: midnight to 7 a.m. (296-9275)

Judge Kimberley Prochnau: 9-11 (296-9260)

Judge Carol Schapira: 10:30 to noon (296-9150)

Judge Richard McDermott: 11-1 (296-9115)

Judge Bruce Heller: noon to 4 (296-9085)

Commissioner Meg Sassaman : noon-4 (205-3908)

Judge Judith Ramseyer: 4-7 p.m. (296-9213)

Judge Tim Bradshaw: 5-8 p.m. (296-9135)


Comments (35) RSS

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Hip hip hooray!
Posted by gloomy gus on December 5, 2012 at 5:14 PM · Report this
Eric Arrr 2
Mary Yu? Too perfect.

Posted by Eric Arrr on December 5, 2012 at 5:18 PM · Report this
rob! 3
OMG, @2. That has the potential to become a national headline. Please, somebody, make it happen.
Posted by rob! on December 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM · Report this
Judge Mary Yu (as @2 says, too perfect) will perform the first legal gay marriage in the state of Washington? Hah!
Posted by LMcGuff on December 5, 2012 at 5:28 PM · Report this
sjbrot 5
@2: Agreed. Mary Yu is a fucking champ.
Posted by sjbrot on December 5, 2012 at 5:35 PM · Report this
Posted by green_fox on December 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM · Report this
Dominic Holden 8
@2) Oh my god, incredible.
Posted by Dominic Holden on December 5, 2012 at 6:01 PM · Report this
Add some more links - Judge Mary Yu is an open Lesbian.
Posted by George Bakan on December 5, 2012 at 6:12 PM · Report this
The best part is that Mary Yu is openly lesbian and engaged. If only she could perform her own wedding ceremony first!
Posted by brewer on December 5, 2012 at 6:15 PM · Report this
Geni 11
This just makes me So Damn Happy.
Posted by Geni on December 5, 2012 at 8:35 PM · Report this
Will Yu marry me?
Posted by Sandman on December 6, 2012 at 8:06 AM · Report this
I am an officiant and have plenty of time ! Would love to talk to anyone looking for someone to marry them!
Posted by conundrum on December 6, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
I can marry you! I am an officiant and LOVE working with couples to create ceremonies unique to them or quick and easy! I have plenty of availability NOW!
Posted by conundrum on December 6, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 16
Mary Yu being in such a historical position is almost as good as Loving v. Virginia being the case that opened up marriage for all straight people.

Can we rename the state government the Washington State Department of Unfair Bullshit so that all lawsuits against the state are named along the lines of American Citizens Who Just Want to Get High v. Unfair Bullshit? What would that take? Is this a constitutional amendment thing?
Posted by MacCrocodile on December 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
So many thanks to all the public officials who are working hard to accommodate everybody. Your efforts are appreciated.
Posted by MLM on December 6, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 18
I would like to thank our hard-working Judges for all that they do.

Especially now.

And the county staff who cranked out 71 marriage certificates an hour, showing how much more efficient Blue counties are than Red counties.
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 6, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
Pick1 19
@2 Thank you for pointing that out and making my day.
Posted by Pick1 on December 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
@13 wins the internet.
Posted by Clayton on December 6, 2012 at 12:13 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 21
I know that it's appropriate to not hear buildings not in use...but these gracious judges are volunteering their time for a community cause. Could we get some resources to heat the building? I'll pay an extra dollar to somebody...
Posted by TheMisanthrope on December 6, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
katrat 22
This is all so unbelievably wonderful.
Posted by katrat on December 6, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
I'm in a show with a lot of singers and we were thinking of coming to sing love-ey songs outside the courthouse Sunday morning before our matinee (cus yay for marriage!)... Do you think this would be appreciated? Would it be allowed? We wouldn't be asking for money obviously... If that isn't a good idea is there another way to help out for a couple hours? Inform me knowledgeable people!
Posted by 8ters2the<- on December 6, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
Is there a convenient way to thank each of these judges for coming in on their own free time to do this without making such an influx of thanks be a burden for them or interfere with people who are trying to conduct "real business? Can you supply us with email addresses or phone numbers or physical addresses so that these amazing people can know that we know and appreciate them? Thanks!
Posted by DevoutAtheist on December 6, 2012 at 1:09 PM · Report this
Everyone is being so kind, with judges volunteering their time on a Sunday, etc. It makes me proud to be a Seattleite. I will definitely be out there celebrating, throwing rice. Or birdseed. Or whatever it is these days.
Posted by anaisninja on December 6, 2012 at 2:43 PM · Report this
Yes. But will Mary Yu marry you... on Monday?
Posted by drawn on December 6, 2012 at 2:50 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 27
And you thought 1964 was a history making year (When as I recall the earth was just being formed) These times are EXCITING!
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