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A lot of people couldn't wait. But not everyone wanted to get a marriage license in the middle of night. King County officials, in high gear for dealing with first-day demand under the new marriage equality law, also found a steady stream of license seekers kept pouring in after the initial midnight rush.
By 3 p.m., the county reported issuing 432 licenses. And it was hardly alone. In Vancouver, more than 40 couples had filed for licenses from Clark County, including some who had camped out beginning at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, according to The Columbian. Almost all were local, but one couple came from Alaska and — we are only to happy to report — one from Portland. In case you're waiting for the initial rush to subside to claim your certificate, Crosscut published a map of Washington state venues that will be officiating same-sex marriage under the new law. When you goin' to catch up with the times, Oregon?
OK, it's just a matter of time there. And, as Peter Callaghan related today in The News-Tribune, it took plenty of time here.
Callaghan looked back to a 1997 prediction by Sen. Ed Murray in 1997, a time when many of the state's politicians were portraying their anti-gay-marriage actions as being in "defense of marriage." Callaghan wrote:
The article, noting the rarity of patience in politics, is well worth a read for its insights about the state and the evolution that brought us to today — and the vows, flowers and celebrations that will begin this weekend.
Other celebrations: Ski resorts
Lowland rains are meaning highland snows.
Watch those mountain driving conditions, of course, with up-to-the-minute state Department of Transportation reports. But The Seattle Times today has a comprehensive run-down of opening schedules for ski areas from Spokane to Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie (the Summit at Snoqualmie hopes to open Friday). Mark Yuasa reports that Mount Baker has 103 inches, ahead of any other resort in North America. Whistler-Blackcomb in British Columbia is second.
For last-minute checks, the Ski Washington trade association keeps the latest reports here.
Two-thirds tea leaves
On Publicola, there is a fascinating article this afternoon suggesting that there's trouble for Tim Eyman's latest voter-approved measure requiring two-thirds approval by the Legislature in the unanimous state Supreme Court decision.
The story focuses on a finding in an essentially unrelated case, involving residency qualifications for a Superior Court judge. But, since the court found that a law can't impose more restrictions on a judge's qualifications than the state constitution, the crux of the matter for Eyman could be whether his favorite new law can impose more obstacles for legislators' decisions than the constitution does. Publicola got Eyman's reasoning, too.
New marijuana law
The other big voter-approved legal change from last month's election also took place at midnight today.
In Pierce County, however, there was a horrific reminder of how far the state and the nation remain from having a handle on the violence associated with drug distribution. Two people died in what was reportedly a shootout at a home where marijuana was being grown. The Times posted an Associated Press account.
As AP noted, the state law envisions establishment of a system of regulations for growers and sellers. Whether that will stem violence, or survive expected and existing court challenges, remains to be seen.
In the meantime, more than a few Seattleites celebrated the law's immediate effect: It is now legal for adults to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.
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