Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Same-sex marriage becomes legal in DC - Gay marriage - Salon.com

Same-sex marriage becomes legal in DC - Gay marriage - Salon.com

By JESSICA GRESKO, Associated Press

Same-sex couples can start applying for marriage licenses Wednesday in Washington.

Supporters say couples planned to line up before the city's marriage bureau opened at 8:30 a.m., and officials at the courthouse were expecting 200 or more people.

At least 16 couples were waiting at 7:15 a.m. inside the city's Moultrie courthouse, which houses the marriage bureau and is just blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

Sinjoyla Townsend, 41, and her partner of 12 years, Angelisa Young, 47, claimed the first spot in line just after 6 a.m.

"It's like waking up Christmas morning," Young said.

Washington will be the sixth place in the nation where gay marriages can take place. Because of a mandatory waiting period, however, couples won't actually be able to marry in the District of Columbia until March 9. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont currently issue licenses to same-sex couples.

To deal with the expected crowd Wednesday, the marriage bureau will bring in temporary employees to help its regular staff, courthouse spokeswoman Leah Gurowitz said.

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