(WSB photo from 11/6/12)
One month ago, on Election Day – November 6th – West Seattle health-care practitioner Chris Porter was the last sign-waver on the Fauntleroy overpass. One month later, on December 6th, he and partner Ross were among the first wave of couples to get a marriage license.
They were #215, with County Executive Dow Constantine still there to sign their license at 3:30 am, 13 hours before the County Recorder’s Office closed for the night after issuing hundreds more:
We are closed for the night! Final count is 489 licenses issued since we opened the King County Recorder’s Office at 12:01 a.m. today.
— King County, WA (@kcnews) December 7, 2012
From an essay Chris wrote about the historic occasion:
… The fuss, argument, and fight for marriage equality is not so much about being able to marry the one you love, but about humans caring for others by extending something that brings us all closer and building a greater commonality and community.
… As we stood in line, I cannot remember an event that felt more like a reception into a new world. Volunteers agreed to work until the early hours of the morning, offering: Chocolate, coffee, tea, snacks, and congratulations. King County setup for the barrage of couples was so finely orchestrated, I have not seen a finer display of what government , working for the people it serves, is capable of. Couples braving the cold stood in near-shock as the midnight hour approached – some holding their breath, bracing for a change that would thwart the process.
As midnight approached, people began to hug, and kiss, and cry when we all realized that that moment had arrived. A moment many thought may have been another 5-10 years away. We met so many other couples and heard and shared stories. It was unlike any movie, amusement park, or holiday – this was real and visceral. So real, it seems like a dream and that the whole thing was imagined.
About 12 hours after Chris and Ross, Amy and Jennifer Hallmon went downtown on Thursday afternoon – no line, Amy reports.
She and Jennifer are raising five kids who also will accompany them to their City Hall wedding on Sunday. Amy says, “We were originally married in July of 1998, and are looking forward to lasting legal recognition (unlike that San Francisco wedding in 2004).” Here’s their original wedding photo:
Thursday’s celebration spread beyond King County headquarters; one of the West Seattle couples shown in our “live” coverage from early Thursday, Marley Blonsky and Whitney Young, went later to White Center’s Full Tilt Ice Cream, one of the businesses around the region that offered freebies or discounts to couples who brought in their new marriage license.
That’s Marley in the photo. The next big day of celebrating will be Sunday, when those who got licenses on Thursday are eligible to wed.
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