The first same-sex couple in Clark County to get a marriage license, Paul Harris and his partner James Griener say "that piece of paper is a sense of validation."
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV/AP) -
Couples in Vancouver lined up for same-sex marriage licenses Thursday, one day after Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law a measure that legalizes gay marriage.
There were no issues or protests at the public service building in Vancouver on Thursday morning.
By 9 a.m., 26 same-sex couples had received marriage certificates.
Ashley Cavner, who showed up with her partner, waited 12 hours to get her marriage license.
"I was born in Tennessee, a small town girl. It was hard admitting it," Cavner said. "Now I'm like, 'this is my wife.' And we're happy to be out here."
Sen. Patty Murray described it as a "very special day in Washington."
"I am so proud of our state for taking this huge step toward providing equality for all members of our community," Murray said.
Because the state has a three-day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday.
On Thursday morning, King and Thurston Counties opened the earliest of any of the counties in Washington, at 12:01 a.m. Clark County opened at 8 a.m.
Last month, 54 percent of voters approved Referendum 74, which had asked for people to approve or reject the state law legalizing same-sex marriage that legislators passed earlier this year. That law was signed by Gregoire in February but was put on hold pending the outcome of the election.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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