THE BLOG
12/07/2012 01:42 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Washington's First Same-Sex Couples Apply for Marriage Licenses (PHOTOS)

At 12:01 a.m. PST gay and lesbian couples in Washington began to receive marriage licenses. I was at King County's administration building, but couples in every county throughout the state are preparing to marry on Dec. 9, after the mandatory three-day waiting period is over.

The first couple in King County was Pete-e Petersen, who is 85, and Jane Abbott Lighty, who is 77. They have been together for 35 years.

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They were joined by more than 200 couples who were ready to wait in line all night long if they had to.

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John Breitweiser and Stuart Wilber were celebrating their 35th anniversary together this weekend by getting married.

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Meanwhile, the mood outside the administration building was festive. People sang gospel music, and Charles Drabkin and his husband Michael Herzfeld handed out flowers to the couples as they waited.

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As couples left the building they were greeted with cheers from a growing crowd, despite the late hour. John and Stuart were greeted by friends who said they were looking forward to attending their wedding on Sunday.

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It was incredible to see so many couples, each with their own history of waiting for this moment to come. Some, like Jane and Pete-e, and John and Stuart, have been waiting a life time. This moment could not come soon enough.

All photos by Joe Mirabella