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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

December 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Same-sex couples now account for 1 in 6 Washington weddings

Jane Abbott Lighty, left, and her partner of 35 years, Pete-e Petersen of West Seattle, hold the very first same-sex marriage license issued in King County on December 6, 2012.  (Photo: BETTINA HANSEN/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Jane Abbott Lighty, left, and her partner of 35 years, Pete-e Petersen of West Seattle, hold the very first same-sex marriage license issued in King County on December 6, 2012. (Photo: BETTINA HANSEN/THE SEATTLE TIMES)

Today is the one-year anniversary of Washington’s same-sex marriage law.  To mark the occasion, the state Department of Health has released marriage statistics gathered from the date the law took effect — Dec. 6, 2012 — through the end of September, date of most recent available numbers.

In that time, 7,071 gay couples tied the knot. That’s 17 percent of the total 42,408 new marriages, or one out of six.

Of the same-sex marriages, 62 percent were between two women.  No  surprise, King County had the most same-sex weddings — 3,452 — followed, in order, by Clark, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties.

Clark County, on the Oregon border just north of Portland, had the highest rate — 30 percent of weddings performed there were to same-sex couples.

This fact and other data also indicate that Washington’s marriage law is drawing couples from other states to marry here. For 24 percent of the ceremonies, neither spouse lived in Washington. For opposite-sex couples, the number is only 6 percent.

The top states for gay couples choosing a Washington wedding are Oregon (524), Texas (170) and California (155).

There was only one county in Washington where not a single same-sex marriage took place — Garfield County, the state’s least populous.

0 Comments | More in Government Data | Topics: gay rights, marriage

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