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Washington gives first marriage licence to lesbian couple

Two women, aged 77 and 85, reflect on their 35 years unable to legally commit to one another

Washington gives first marriage licence to lesbian couple

Washington has given out its first same-sex marriage licence to a lesbian couple of 35 years.

Pete-e Peterson, 85, and Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, thought they were going to die without being able to be legally married.

But at midnight on 6 December, they became the first same-sex couple to receive marriage licences in the US state of Washington.

‘It’s been a long journey,’ Petersen said. ‘We’re just blessed with the people we’ve met and the opportunities we’ve had.’

The two women met on a blind date, set up by a mutual friend, on 13 January 1977.

The couple immediately hit it off at an old town restaurant in Sacramento, and moved in together two weeks later.

As the years went by they adopted a 10-year-old girl as well as two dogs and a cat, and in 1986 they moved to Seattle.

Peterson said: ‘Of course, we were in the so-called closet. Fortunately, we’re blessed by nice looks so people didn’t know right off the bat we were homosexuals.’

In the early 2000s, they started the Seattle Women’s Chorus, a lesbian choral group.

In 2005, they had their union blessed in a church. Seven years later, they will do it all over again but this time, it will be completely legal.

Gay rights campaigner and advice columnist Dan Savage, who pioneered the It Gets Better project, also obtained his marriage licence.

Washington governor Chris Gregoire certified Referendum 74 yesterday (5 December) surrounded by the marriage equality bill’s supporters.

According to CNN, she said: ‘This is a very important and historic day in the great state of Washington.

‘For many years now, we’ve said “One more step, one more step.” This is our last step.

‘To the couples that are here today that will finally be treated with the equality they’ve deserved for many years, congratulations to each of you.’

Washington, Maryland and Maine were the three states to break tradition and be the first ever to vote for same-sex marriage on 6 November.


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