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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 14, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 50
A day we'll always cherish
Arts & Entertainment
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A day we'll always cherish

140 couples wed at Seattle City Hall

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

On Sunday, December 9, the first day same-sex couples could legally marry in the state of Washington, 140 such couples tied the knot in the Grand Lobby of Seattle's City Hall.

'We see this as an historic moment and we wanted to be part of the history and help move the benefits of this law forward towards other states,' said Marjorie Lynn and Susan Hopkins, who have been together for 16 years and were one of the first couples to marry. 'We wanted to celebrate the benefits of [Referendum] 74 and be part of the celebration.'

Keith Bacon and Corianton Hale, who both volunteered for the R-74 campaign and have been together six years, said they wanted to participate in the excitement of the day and that they were 'thrilled and flattered that the mayor and the city put so much into making the day a reality.'

As they exchanged vows, Corianton shed tears and Keith kept a wide smile on his face. Kent Municipal Court Judge Karli Jorgensen pronounced them the first 'husband and husband' of the morning among the tears and smiles of their guests.

After their ceremony the two were approached by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and congratulated. They then thanked those who helped make it happen.

'It feels significantly different,' said the newlywed couple. 'It's the final little detail.'

JUDGES VOLUNTEER
Sixteen area judges volunteered to officiate the weddings, and teams led by two artists, Jennifer Zeyl and Celeste Cooning, created displays in front of which couples exchanged their vows. All the weddings at City Hall were completely free.

Diane Butzberger and Amanda Ruff, who have been together 10 years, said they 'didn't want to waste one more minute' and were 'excited to celebrate with everyone else.' The two said they wanted to be there to 'celebrate with the people who have been fighting for marriage equality since Stonewall.'

'With this ring I marry you; I promise you my faithful love,' said Lynne and Karen, a Lesbian couple, as they placed rings on each other's fingers. The two were married by King County District Court Judge Janet Garrow.

Luke and Allan, 46 and 37, pledged their 'hands, hearts, and love from this day forward,' and began their married life together around the people dearest to them, saying 'I do' while clapping could be heard from all corners of City Hall as other couples were saying the same. Marcus, 7, an 'honorary nephew,' served as their ring bearer.

Of the 140 couples that married on Sunday, roughly two-thirds were Lesbian.

MAYOR'S PROCLAMATION
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who attended the event alongside the Seattle City Council, proclaimed December 9, 2012, to be 'Marriage Equality Day,' stating:

'Whereas, last month, voters in the State of Washington said 'yes' to Referendum 74, an historic law that granted all couples in Washington the right to marry, regardless of gender; and whereas December 9th marks the first day that we can perform these marriages; and whereas we are reminded today of countless community members, activists, and politicians who have spent decades championing the cause of marriage equality both locally and nationally; and whereas the City of Seattle is honored to open its City Hall to 140 couples who have decided to marry today, whose courage and patience endured the long struggle for marriage equality; and whereas the City of Seattle is also proud to host the hundreds of people who are spending their day supporting these couples, from friends and families to judges, local businesses, and volunteers; and whereas we recognize this day as a celebration of equality and love, a testament to the values of passion, patience, and persistence, now, therefore, I, Michael McGinn, Mayor of the City of Seattle, the Seattle City Council concurring, do hereby proclaim December 9, 2012, to be Marriage Equality Day in the City of Seattle and urge all to recognize the significance of this day and the work done to ensure its existence.'

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