US: Seattle Judges donate their time to marry same-sex couples in Washington on first available day

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Seattle City Hall will open for a special event on a Sunday following a new law taking effect, which will allow same-sex couples to marry in the state of Washington.

Mayor Mike McGinn, said through spokesperson, Aaron Pickus, that eight municipal judges will donate their time on Sunday 9 December, three days after Referendum 74 becomes active, allowing equal marriage in the state, reported the Associated Press. 

The judges will be available between 12-5pm on Sunday 9 December, the first day it is possible for couples to have their marriage licenses signed, despite being allowed to collect them from 6 December.

The law takes effect on 5 December, the marriage licenses are available to pick up on 6 December, but are not able to be signed, and made legal, until 9 December, due to a three day waiting period.

The Stranger, a Seattle based weekly newspaper, on Thursday pledged to donate $2,000 (£,1260) towards materials, and staff members, as well as the municipal judges, will donate their time to host the event.

On the early hours of 7 November 2012, the state of Washington followed Maine and Maryland in passing a referendum in support of marriage rights for gay couples, and Minnesota voted against outlawing equal marriage.

Although Washington’s legislature initially legalised the measure in February of this year, opponents succeeded in gathering enough signatures to force a state ballot.

King County couples can collect marriage licenses from 6 December, and King County Executive, Dow Constantine, said he will sign the first license.