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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Happy Anniversary, Washington State
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 12/06/13
Last updated on: 12/06/13
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Happy anniversary to Washington state. The state's marriage equality law took effect on December 6, 2012. One year later, more than 7,000 same-sex couples have tied the knot in the state. Same-sex marriages comprise 17% of the 42,000 marriages performed in the state during the period.

A press release from Washington's Department of Health, which collects statistics on marriage, highlights some interesting information about the state's first year of marriage equality.

In the period between December 6, 2012, and the most complete month of data, September 30, 2013, same-sex couples made up 17% of marriages in Washington. During that time, there were 7,071 same-sex couples among the 42,408 total couples who married in the state.

Of the same-sex marriages performed in the state, 62% were between two women.

The top five Washington counties where same-sex marriages were performed were King County with 3,452; Clark County with 785; Pierce County with 486; Snohomish County with 330; and Thurston County with 300 marriages. The only county in Washington where no same-sex marriages were performed is Garfield County.

Washington's marriage equality law has drawn out-of-state residents to the state to marry. In 24% of same-sex marriages performed in the first year, both spouses live in another state. There were 524 same-sex marriages in which both parties lived in Oregon. For 170 same-sex marriages, the couples lived in Texas, and, for 155 same-sex marriages, the couples lived in California. Among opposite-sex couples, both spouses were from another state in only 6% of marriages.

Each person getting married in Washington can choose whether they would like their marriage certificate to refer to them as bride, groom, or spouse. Within both male and female same-sex marriages, most individuals preferred to use the term spouse.

Marriage licenses were first issued to same-sex couples on December 6, 2012. But due to Washington's 3-day waiting period, the actual marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples did not begin until December 9, 2012. The video below captures the first couples married at Seattle City Hall on December 9, 2012.

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