VANCOUVER, Wash. - Starting on Thursday, Washington State will allow same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses.
It's likely Paul Harris and partner James Griener will be the first same sex marriage applicants in Clark County. “I’ve been the manager for marriage licenses for over 15 years and never thought I would get a chance to get one of my own," Harris said.
The wait to get himself what he's been approving for others all these years started a long time ago, in a city far, far away.
“We met in Brooklyn, New York in 1972 on the Brooklyn promenade, which is one of the most beautiful and romantic spots in the entire world. It will be 40 years in February, February 8th actually,” he said.
Paul and James said their families supported the relationship, even when the law did not. This is unprecedented territory in Washington. But Paul said it's just another wedding.
“I feel like I’ve been married all along,” he said.
Paul and James said a marriage won't change the way they see their time-tested relationship. But it just might change the way many others do.
“That piece of paper is a validation from society as a whole. It’s saying ‘okay, you are now a part of society.’”
Same sex couples can start applying for marriage licenses Thursday. They can marry Sunday, after a state required three-day waiting period. Paul and James plan to wait until next week so their anniversary will be 12-12-12.