Washington holds first same-sex wedding

SEATTLE — Emily cried, Sarah choked up and 9-month-old Carter looked puzzled as camera shutters whirred when her moms were pronounced “legally wed” by Superior Court Judge Mary Yu at 12:04 a.m. today, making them the first same sex couple to be married in Washington state.

The Cofers’ ceremony was the start of a flurry of weddings across the state as lesbian and gay couples for the first time were allowed to marry after a landmark vote Nov. 6. The nuptials mark not just a shift in status for the couples involved, but for the nation as a whole. On election day Washington, Maine and Maryland all legalized same-sex marriages, becoming the first states to allow same-sex couples to marry by popular vote rather than a decision of the courts or a state legislature.

Of the three, Washington is the first to actually have marriages take place. The marriages became legal in the state Thursday. Because Washington requires a three-day waiting period after a wedding license is granted, today was the first day the marriages could take place. Couples in Maine will be able to marry Dec. 29 and in Maryland on Jan. 1.

“We never thought we’d be a part of history,” said Sarah, 31. She and Emily, 32, are both third-grade teachers in the town of Arlington, 45 miles north of Seattle. The couple had a commitment ceremony in 2010, and Emily took Sarah’s last name. Nine months ago their daughter, Carter, was born, and Sarah is now on maternity leave so she can stay home with her.

Read more at the Detroit Free Press.