King Co. issuing same-sex marriage licenses at midnight on Dec. 6

King Co. issuing same-sex marriage licenses at midnight on Dec. 6
Revelers display U.S. and gay pride flags as they celebrate early election returns favoring Washington state Referendum 74, which would legalize gay marriage, during a large impromptu street gathering in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, in the early hours of Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
SEATTLE (AP) - King County Executive Dow Constantine will open the county Recorder's Office in Seattle early - just after midnight - on Dec. 6 to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"I don't want couples to wait a minute longer than legally necessary to get the rights that voters have recognized," Constantine said in a news release announcing the extended hours.

Constantine says he'll be waiting to sign the first license, making King County the first jurisdiction in the nation to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, based on voter approval.

Voters in Washington, Maryland and Maine all approved gay marriage initiatives last week, but laws in Maryland and Maine will not take effect until January.

Once they have their license in hand, all couples in Washington still have to wait three days for a marriage ceremony.

More Information:

King County Marriage License Information