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King County rings in Marriage Equality Day by issuing a record 489 marriage licenses today


King County Executive
Dow Constantine

King County rings in Marriage Equality Day by issuing a record 489 marriage licenses today


On December 6, after 18 and a half hours, the county issued 489 licenses in a record-breaking day.


In 18 and a half hours on the first day of marriage equality in Washington state, King County issued 489 marriage licenses, mostly to same-sex couples, breaking the previous record of 212. On average, King County issues 75 to 100 marriage licenses daily. Today was filled with singing, happy tears, bubbles, and bubbly.

"It's been a privilege to personally congratulate same-sex couples who, for the first time in state history, are finally able to secure a marriage license," said King County Executive Dow Constantine, who welcomed couples and thanked dozens of volunteers throughout the day today. "I've met wonderful couples who told me they've been waiting 10, 20, even 40 years for this day to come, and for this right to be recognized."

At 12:01 a.m., Executive Constantine administered the oath and signed marriage licenses for 11 same-sex couples recommended by community leaders. The first license he signed was for Jane Abbott Lighty and Pete-e Petersen of West Seattle, a couple who co-founded the Seattle Women's Chorus and who will be married at a Seattle Men's Chorus concert on Sunday, Dec. 9 at Benaroya Hall.

"This day has been remarkable," added Executive Constantine. "People shared a real sense that history was being made. This is a significant moment in the evolution of our democratic society."

King County Courthouse to open Sunday for weddings

King County will open the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle for weddings this Sunday, Dec. 9. Because of security arrangements at the Courthouse, couples MUST schedule a time for their wedding with one of the judicial officers listed below. They will also need to bring a valid marriage license issued on Dec. 6 and two adult witnesses. To schedule with one of the Superior Court judges, please call their bailiff at the number below.

To schedule weddings on a later date, refer to the complete list of judicial officers available to perform weddings at

Judicial Officers who will be available on Dec. 9:

  • Judge Mary Yu: 12:01 a.m. to 7 a.m. (296-9275)
  • Judge Kimberley Prochnau: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (296-9260)
  • Judge Carol Schapira: 10:30 a.m. to noon (296-9150)
  • Judge Richard McDermott: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (296-9115)
  • Judge Bruce Heller: noon to 4 p.m. (296-9085)
  • Commissioner Meg Sassaman : noon to 4 p.m. (205-3908)
  • Judge Judith Ramseyer: 4 p.m. 7 p.m. (296-9213)
  • Judge Tim Bradshaw: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (296-9135)

King County District Court judges will also be available to perform weddings on Sunday, Dec. 9. Visit their website,, for more detailed contact information. Couples can also call 206-205-9200, then as soon as the message begins, press "5" and then "4" to hear information about weddings. Weddings can be performed at any King County District Court facility.

The Recorder's Office in the King County Administration Building in downtown Seattle will be open for extended hours to serve those seeking marriage licenses:

  • Friday, December 7: 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 8: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

County employees and a cadre of volunteers will again be on hand at the Administration Building on Friday and Saturday to direct people through the marriage application process. A Joint Information Center is managing media inquiries and posting updates through the County's social media channels - @kcnews at,, and Photos of the day's events are available on and

Detailed information about applying for a marriage license is at

King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

Read the Executive's biography