Thursday, for the first time, same-sex couples in Washington have the right to file for marriage licenses.
Referendum 74 failed in Clark County, but passed statewide. Wedding ceremonies can begin this Sunday.
April Baer stopped by the Clark County auditor’s office to talk with some of the first applicants.
While most of the couples in line appeared to be 30 or older, 19-year old Jessica Lee and her bride-to-be, 21 year old Ashley Cavner were two of the first people on line. They camped out overnight just to make sure.
Jessica Lee “Nine last night.”
Ashley Cavner “It’s amazing. I didn’t think we’d ever be there.”
Jessica Lee “That was probably the longest five minutes of my life.”
Ashley Cavner “She couldn’t find our online application so we had to totally redo it. And we were just, like, ‘Agggh! We’ve been waiting so long!’ “
In addition to being among the youngest applicants. Lee and Cavner have a good story to tell about how they met.
Jessica Lee: “I hit her in the head with a softball. It was in Little League, prior to school.”
Ashley Cavner “We were kids. I’m a pitcher. She’s a clean-up batter. She hit me in the face with a softball. And then we didn’t talk after that. And we met in English class years later. And then didn’t talk again, and met through mutual friends. And then the next thing you know. Here we are today.
Jessica Lee: “Attached.”
Ashley Cavner “I mean, it’s been fate, we’ve gone through—”
Jessica Lee “No matter how many people say we’re too young, no one knows what we’ve been through.”
Cavner and Lee say they’re going to try to camp out Saturday night, so that they can place among the first couples to use their license in a mass ceremony.
Close behind them in line, Ruth Langstraat and Roxanne Whitelight held hands and smiled.
Ruth Langstraat: “Fabulous!”
Roxanne Whitelight: “It’s our 19th anniversary today. It’s so— it’s such an amazing day.”
Ruth Langstraat: “We’re getting married at church on Sunday as part of the Sunday service, so it’s really exciting.”
Roxanne Whitelight “It’s a church that we belong to and we had a dinner for the church to try and educate them about the referendum. And we want all of them to be there.”
Gay rights activists said the group of applicants Thursday was actually a bit smaller than they’d hoped for. But some campaigners who worked on the referendum say they plan to hold their own weddings later, just to have more time to plan.
The Auditor’s office will hold extended hours through the weekend to accommodate marriage license applicants.
OPB | Feb. 22, 2017