Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 5:00 pm
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The competition among counties to issue the first same-sex marriage license in Washington is heating up. Monday, one county auditor held a lottery to select the first ten couples who will receive their license just after midnight on Thursday.
Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman -- who is also Secretary of State-elect -- heard Seattle’s King County intended to issue the first license.
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On the first day same-sex couples can get married in Washington state, Seattle City Hall will serve as a wedding chapel. Mayor Mike McGinn's office is playing the role of planner. On Monday, it posted the itinerary for a historic wedding ceremony on Dec. 9.
King County plans to pull an all-nighter on the first day marriage licenses are available to same-sex couples under Washington state law. On Thursday, Dec. 6, at 12:01 a.m., the county is scheduled to open its licensing office in downtown Seattle.
Gay rights groups are hoping Oregon will be the next state to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot. Washington did that this week. But to follow suit, Oregon voters would have to reverse themselves and repeal a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Voters passed that ban in 2004 after a campaign led by the conservative Oregon Family Council. Spokeswoman Teresa Harke says her group will oppose any efforts to overturn it.
"I think there are still a lot of people who support one man, one woman marriage. And we are ready to fight for that."