On the first day of legal same-sex marriage in Washington, the scene was quiet at the Benton County Annex in Kennewick in southeast Washington. Workers sat at the ready to hand out marriage licenses, but only a few people showed up. But one couple that did got their paperwork after 26 years together.
Diane Marsh and Linda McGregor are both 61 years old. They finish each other’s sentences, dress alike and can make decisions together silently by reading each other’s faces. They’ve gone to lawyers to make sure they have many of the legal rights as a married couple, and have considered each other as a spouse for many years.
But picking up their Washington state marriage license is still a huge deal.
“It’s just a legality, it’s just a formality. You do that because you are trying to cover up the emotions that are there," McGregor says while holding back tears. "It’s far more than that … at our age it’s a sense of security that we would have never had.”
Many of the Benton County employees wiped their eyes with Kleenex and gave hugs and handshakes to the couple. Marsh and McGregor plan to marry at Seattle City Hall on Sunday.
Meanwhile in Washington’s capital city, the county auditor was also prepared for a rush of marriage-license applicants. Instead, it felt like business as usual. Just one couple got showed up.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network