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King County Executive Dow Constantine to sign first marriage licenses for same-sex couples Dec. 6

King County Executive Dow Constantine will open the Recorder’s Office in Seattle at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6 – immediately upon certification of the November election – to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

“I don't want couples to wait a minute longer than legally necessary to get the rights that voters have recognized,” said Constantine, who will personally sign the first marriage licenses at 12:01 a.m., in a county media release.

The move will make King County the first jurisdiction in the nation to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on voter approval. Voters in Washington, Maryland, and Maine all approved marriage equality initiatives on Election Day last week, but the laws in Maryland and Maine will not take effect until January. Under state law couples must wait three days before the actual marriage ceremony may be performed.

The Recorder’s Office is in the King County Administration Building at 500 Fourth Ave. in Seattle. Couples may start lining up at the James Street entrance (on the north plaza of the Administration Building) at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 5. An official queuing area will be designated on the plaza. For people with mobility issues, an accessible entrance will be available on Fourth Avenue, and individuals will be directed to the plaza.

Couples will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. As previously announced, the Recorder’s Office will remain open on Dec. 6 until 6:30 p.m. to meet expected demand. All couples within the official queuing area at 4:30 p.m. will be served.

On Friday, Dec. 7, the office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Couples will be able to line up starting at 6:30 a.m. All couples within the official queuing area at 4:30 p.m. will be served.

On Saturday, Dec. 8, the Recorder’s Office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The lineup will begin at 6:30 a.m., and all couples within the official queuing area at 2:30 p.m. will be served.

All couples, regardless of gender, seeking a marriage license on these three days will need to wait in line. To help reduce delays, couples are encouraged to download a marriage license application from www.kingcounty.gov/marriage and bring the completed form with them when they apply.

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