Marriage Resources for Washington State
Washingtonians voted to support the freedom to marry and approved Referendum 74 in November. Washington now joins the growing number of states that allow loving and committed same-sex couples to marry. This page provides basic information and resources to answer marriage-related questions for same-sex couples.
“Marriage Equality Explained” Information Session
Things are moving quickly toward “I do” now that Washington voters have approved marriage equality, but some legal issues persist due to federal and state failures to recognize marriage for same-sex couples.
Moderated by Anne Levinson, the “Marriage Equality Explained” panel took place December 3 in Seattle and included David Ward of Legal Voice, Public Interest Law Group and ACLU cooperating attorney Hank Balson, Shelbi Day of Lambda Legal, and Jill Mullins of the QLaw Foundation discussing how state and federal laws impact the realization of full marriage equality, from taxes, insurance, Social Security benefits, immigration, and parental rights to the Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. An audience Q&A followed the discussion.
Recorded at Town Hall Seattle on December 3, 2012.
Marriage Licenses and First Day for Marriages
Same-sex couples will be allowed to apply for marriage licenses on Thursday, December 6, 2012.
Washington law requires all couples to wait three days after applying for their marriage license before having their marriage ceremony. So if a couple receives their marriage license on December 6, they will have to wait until December 9 to get married. Note: all marriage licenses issued in Washington expire sixty (60) days after the license is issued. You must use the license between three and sixty days from the time your application is granted. After these sixty days, the marriage license is no longer valid and you will need to repeat the application process if you still plan on marrying.
Couples can get marriage licenses from any county, usually at the county auditor. They do not have to get their marriage license from the county where they reside or the county where they plan to have the marriage ceremony.
Some counties have announced early opening time on December 6 for processing marriage license requests. Find more information about county offices that issue marriage licenses here.
Read more from Legal Voice’s Questions and Answers: Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Washington.
Wedding Plans: Supporting LGBTQ-Friendly Businesses
LGBTQ-owned and LGBTQ-friendly businesses stood up for the freedom to marry in Washington and throughout the U.S. Show your thanks and support by shopping at these businesses in preparation for your wedding.
- Greater Seattle Business Association – Business Directory
- Inland Northwest Business Alliance – Online Directory
- Portland Area Business Association (Oregon) – Washington State Resources
- Human Right Campaign – Buyer’s Guide
- Washington United for Marriage – Coalition Partners: Businesses
Welcoming Faith Communities
See a list of religious institutions that will perform weddings for same-sex couples. (Please note this is not a complete list. You will want to contact your local religious institution to confirm.)