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Same-sex couples in Washington start taking wedding vows

BY RACHEL LA CORTE, ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE -- Scores of same-sex couples crowded Seattle City Hall for a day of wedding ceremonies on Sunday, the first day they could marry after the state's voter-approved gay marriage law took effect.

While numerous weddings were taking place across the state, both private and public, the city hall weddings were the largest public event, with about 140 couples taking part. The city set up five separate chapels to accommodate the revelers. Starting at 10 a.m., cheers and applause regularly broke out as another couple's marriage became official. Weddings at city hall were to continue through 5 p.m.

After couples married, they exited city hall, greeted by a steady rain and by dozens of supporters who cheered them with shouts of "congratulations" and flowers as they descended a large staircase down to the street.

"I don't even have words for this," said Caren Goldenberg of Seattle, who married her partner of seven years, Casey Evans. "It just makes me really proud of my city."

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