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December 9, 2012 at 7:50 AM

Ceremonies in Seattle, Olympia kick off day of same-sex weddings

Mary Davidson, 27, left, and Monica Rozgay, 29, smile after saying ‘I do’ at their midnight wedding at The Seattle Yacht Club early Sunday December 9, 2012. Rozgay and Davidson, of Seattle, were one of the first couples to wed following the passage of Referendum 74, which approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state of Washington. (Photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)  See more photos

Two  Seattle couples were among the first to wed moments after midnight this morning under Washington state’s new same-sex marriage law.

The ceremonies, the first of a day that’s expected to include hundreds, had little in common besides their timing: Sarah and Emily Cofer married in front of a few friends in a King County courtroom, while Monica Rozgay and Mary Davidson exchanged vows in a long-planned celebration at the Seattle Yacht Club.

The Yacht Club event came about by coincidence: Rozgay and Davidson had planned for more than a year to have a commitment ceremony on Dec. 8, 2012. When they found out that same-sex marriage would be legally recognized as of Dec. 9, 2012, they asked their officiant to make it legal at midnight.

“It’s so crazy and amazing,” said Rozgay, 29, who met the 27-year-old Davidson through friends three years ago.

At precisely midnight, after an earlier formal ceremony followed by hours of dancing, the couple re-entered the hall, each dressed in strapless white gowns.

“It is my privilege and it is my honor to declare you legally married,” officiant Annemarie Juhlian announced to raucous applause.

At the courthouse, the Cofers — public schools teachers from Arlington — were the first to take up an offer by the aptly-named Superior Court Judge Mary Yu.

Similar ceremonies took place in Olympia, where Thurston County judges were officiating midnight weddings as well.

More than 800 couples obtained marriage licenses Thursday, but state law requires a three-day waiting period for all weddings.

Among the events scheduled for today are some 140 individual weddings at City Hall, a large group wedding at Seattle First Baptist Church on Capitol Hill and a massive wedding reception at the Paramount Theatre.

Voters last month approved Referendum 74, which legalized same-sex marriage,  making Washington one of seven states, along with the District of Columbia, that recognizes the unions. Maine and Maryland will soon, too, after voters there also approved it last month.

Comments | More in Government | Topics: Mary Yu, Referendum 74, same-sex marriage


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