Monday, May 21, 2018

Same-sex weddings begin Sunday in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Two retired military women who fought for the rights of gays in the military were among the hundreds of couples who received their marriage licenses last week as Washington state's voter-approved law allowing same-sex marriage took effect.

Former Air Force flight nurse Maj. Margaret Witt of Spokane and retired nurse Army Col. Grethe Cammermeyer of Whidbey Island both successfully challenged the military's ban on open service by gays and lesbians.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election Wednesday afternoon, and the law took effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, when couples in Seattle lined up to pick up their licenses just after midnight.

"It will be an amazing energetic, joyous experience," said Witt, who will marry her partner of nine years, Laurie Johnson, on Dec. 15 in Spokane.

Witt, 48, was discharged from the Air Force Reserve because the military learned she was a lesbian, but a federal judge found her dismissal unconstitutional in 2010, and Witt retired with a full military pension last year.

Cammermeyer, 70, plans to get married today at her home in Langley, joined by nine other couples who will also get married there before her annual Christmas party that will also serve as a wedding reception.

Cammermeyer said her ability to now marry Diane Divelbess, her partner of 24 years, was an "opportunity to be treated as a family and as equals."

Last month, Washington, Maine and Maryland became the first states to pass same-sex marriage by popular vote. They joined six other states — New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont — and the District of Columbia that had already enacted laws or issued court rulings permitting same-sex marriage.

Comments
Police question Thai politicians who criticized junta

Police question Thai politicians who criticized junta

Supporters of eight prominent Thai politicians who criticized the country's ruling junta shouted "fight, fight" as the group arrived at a Bangkok police station for questioning
Updated: 1 hour ago

Indonesia's most volatile volcano erupts again

Indonesia's most volatile volcano spews smoke and ash in the latest of several eruptions in less than two weeks
Updated: 1 hour ago

Flares, riots force early end to season finale in Poland

Fans of a Polish soccer team that was losing in the last game of the season threw flares onto the pitch and ultimately forced officials to call it off early
Updated: 1 hour ago

Here is the latest Florida sports news from The Associated Press

Here is the latest Florida sports news from The Associated Press
Updated: 1 hour ago

Syrian government to resume anti-IS offensive in Damascus

Syrian state TV: Government forces to resume anti-IS offensive in southern part of Damascus after evacuating civilians
Updated: 1 hour ago
Stars urge Indonesia to ban 'brutal' trade in dog meat

Stars urge Indonesia to ban 'brutal' trade in dog meat

International celebrities urge Indonesia's president to ban what they say is a brutal trade in dog and cat meat for human consumption
Updated: 2 hours ago
Abbas, 83-year-old Palestinian leader, still in hospital

Abbas, 83-year-old Palestinian leader, still in hospital

Palestinian president remains in hospital after developing a fever following a minor ear procedure
Updated: 2 hours ago

Weekend Sports In Brief

Weekend Sports In Brief
Updated: 2 hours ago
Moon enters talks with Trump with driver's seat at stake

Moon enters talks with Trump with driver's seat at stake

For a few months, everything seemed to be clicking into place for South Korean President Moon Jae-in as he meticulously set up crucial nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang following a year of intense animosity
Updated: 2 hours ago
Maduro wins Venezuela election challengers call illegitimate

Maduro wins Venezuela election challengers call illegitimate

Embattled socialist incumbent Nicolas Maduro won Venezuela's presidential election by a landslide in a disputed vote marred by irregularities and mass absenteeism that led his main rivals to call for a re-run
Updated: 2 hours ago