On Dec. 9, it became legal for same-sex couples to wed in Washington State. Seattle Channel Producer Jeff Gentes takes a look at this historic event. From the lines around the courthouse to get a marriage license, to the 138 couples who tied the knot at a big City Hall bash, the Seattle Channel looks at what this new law means to all residents of Washington State.
It’s been a few days since the last couple left the marriage celebrations on City Hall and we’ve been working to compile and post photographs, video and news stories, which just keep coming. Explore some of the amazing pictures and videos that were taken during the event or read the news and media page, where we’ve collected stories, photos and observations of the event from twitter, blogs, and the web.
For couples, families friends and supporters who attended, please feel free to share links to your own galleries in the comments.
Our public Flickr pool – Crowdsourced photographic highlights of the event
Couple cam videos – Wedding day messages to friends and family, and reflections on the historic day
News & Media
We’ve collected some of the reaction to Sunday’s incredible event.
As part of its day-long coverage of yesterday’s historic weddings at City Hall, the Seattle Channel made an area available in the reception room for newly married couples to tell their stories and deliver live messages to loved ones who couldn’t make the trip to Seattle. All day, couples sat down in front of the cameras to share their feelings and thoughts on the historic occasion of their own weddings, and what those weddings mean to our society.
34 of those videos can be viewed at a website the Channel has set up.
The last couples to be married today in City Hall are enjoying their reception and we are so grateful for everyone who participated today in celebrating the marriages of 138 couples!
To the families, friends, volunteers, judges, vendors, musicians and most especially to the newlyweds, thank you so much for sharing this special day and celebrating at City Hall.
A few highlights of the day are below, more to come tomorrow! Congratulations newlyweds!
Getting married at City Hall today with more than 100 couples, wasn’t in the plan for Steve Azzola and James South. They had initially wanted to have their wedding next year, with nice weather. Tonight, on a rainy evening in Seattle, they became a part of history, as the very last couple to exit City Hall after a historic day of ceremonies and weddings.
The couple met six years ago as colleagues at Century Link. When James saw the announcement of ceremonies to be taken place at City Hall this weekend, he convinced Steve that this was the right thing for them.
“I thought it was crazy at first,” says Steve. “Then the more I thought about it, the more I’d realized that it was really cool to be a part of Washington state history.”
The couple says they are thrilled to have friends and family support them, and showing up without much warning. Some family members drove up all the way from Snohomish to witness today’s ceremony. Steve and James began notifying loved ones of their plans a week ago, starting Friday.
Now, as a legally married couple, they said they feel validated and wishes all the couples who helped make history with them, a joyous day and life of love and happiness.
The reception for all of today’s ceremonies, was held in the Bertha Knight Landes Room at City Hall. This evening the room was serenaded by Ray Allan, a pianist, who volunteered his time.
“It’s just an amazing, amazing moment,” he says. “I wish these couples everything, perfect equality, perfect balance. This is a moment that feels like real, positive change. I just started crying after seeing the first couple get married when I got here.”
Thank you for your music, talent, and time Ray!
In the past 30 years, Linda Phipps and Barbara Allen have been friends, partners, colleagues, and today, a legally married couple. They never thought the day would come.
“I never, ever, in my wildest dreams thought we could legally be together,” says Linda.
They met as colleagues in Orange County, California, where Barbara taught physical education for 7th, 8th and 9th graders, and Linda taught science to 7th and 8th graders. Orange County in the 1980s was very conservative, and had they stayed, says Linda, they would’ve lost their jobs if their relationship was made public. They lived in the closet as a couple, and five years after meeting, they headed north, moving to Coupeville on Whidbey Island.
“We wanted to be able to be ourselves,” says Linda. “You couldn’t admit you were a democrat [in Orange County], let alone a gay person.”
On Whidbey Island, they said they found heaven. A welcome respite, a warm atmosphere, with kind and compassionate people. Linda and Barbara says that the diversity was very accepting up here. Very involved in the community on Whidbey Island, they volunteered in every capacity they could to help pass R-74. They say they are appreciative of the Mayor, Council, and City Hall for organizing today’s events and ceremonies.
In their years together, they also adopted a daughter, Netra Phipps. In 2000, they looked at hundreds of children, and worked with a local organization, the World Association for Children and Parents (WACAP), to find the perfect match. When the adoption agency interviewed Netra, she said she just wanted nice parents. When Linda and Barbara saw the photo of Netra, they’d already wanted her to be their daughter, and Petra’s answer for the requirement of kindness she desired of her future parents made her the more suitable for them as a couple.
“We’re not beautiful, we’re not young, we’re not wealthy, but we’re nice,” says Linda.
As a part of the adoption process, Linda had to swear on record that she was not gay, in order to adopt Netra from India, a country Linda says was conservative and questioned her ability to adopt as a single woman. Linda recalls the woman who did the swearing in was crying, tears running down her face as she performed the ceremony when Linda had to renounce that she was gay to be able to adopt Netra.
“She was embarrassed,” says Linda. “I felt more bad for her than she did for me. There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for this kid, and she wouldn’t for us.”
Twelve years later, Netra is now 22-years-old and a recent homeowner on Whidbey Island.
“I knew they loved me so it made it easy,” says Netra. “Today I’m so excited, overjoyed, and thrilled that my parents are able to get legally married.”
Tonight, their family of three will be going to dinner after the ceremony.
When asked what the secret is for their 30 years of partnership, Barbara and Linda says:
- Marry the one that you connect with.
- Marry not only someone whom you love, but who you also like.
- Talk about everything. Keep the lines of communication open.
What’s next for them?
“We’re going to keep living our perfect life,” says Linda. “There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think about how wonderful it is that we’re together.”
When a florist falls in love, expect the flowers at the wedding to be divine.
They have been together for 6.5 years, and Wednesday night, stood in line at midnight to get their marriage certificate. Wednesday evening was also Justin’s birthday, and more than 150 people sang Happy Birthday to him as they waited in line.
Tonight, Justin and Mike are surrounded by loved ones and a beautiful assortment of floral arrangements designed by Justin for their wedding.
“Gracias Seattle; Gracias a todos.”
“I hope some of the folks in Pullman are watching.”
“Hi Mom and Dad!”
“We came up from Portland to get married in Seattle: here we are! When we’ve overturned DOMA, that’s the end of our journey.”