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Same sex couples are 17 percent of state marriages

Statistics show that in the first nine months after Washington state’s same sex marriage act became law, same sex couples made up 17 percent of all marriages in Washington. Between the law’s effective date, December 6, 2012, and the most recent complete month of data, September 30, 2013, there were 7,071 same sex couples among the 42,408 total couples who married in the state during that period of time.

So far, most of the state’s same sex marriages, 62 percent, occurred between two women. The top five Washington counties where same sex marriages occurred were King County with 3,452; Clark County with 785; Pierce County with 486; and both Snohomish County and Thurston County with around 300 marriages. Garfield County is the only county in Washington where no same sex marriages were performed. These numbers may not represent the number of marriage licenses granted by these counties.

It appears Washington’s same sex marriage law is drawing people to the state to marry. In 24 percent of same sex marriages, both spouses live in another state. There were 524 same sex marriages in which both parties lived in Oregon. For 170 same sex marriages, the couple lived in Texas, and, for 155 same sex marriages, the couple lived in California. Among opposite sex couples, both spouses were from another state in only 6 percent of marriages.

With some exceptions, as of June 30, 2014, all Washington same sex registered domestic partnerships will be converted to same sex marriages.

For more, go to the Department of Health website at doh.wa.gov.

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