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Wash. County Holds Lottery For First Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The competition among counties to issue the first same-sex marriage license in Washington is heating up. Monday, one county auditor held a lottery to select the first ten couples who will receive their license just after midnight on Thursday.

Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman -- who is also Secretary of State-elect -- heard Seattle’s King County intended to issue the first license.

“Not that I am competitive, nor my staff is competitive and we thought ‘well wait a second, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be first, we could maybe issue the first license.’”

So, Wyman decided to hold a drawing. Fifteen couples submitted their names for ten slots. Wyman did the honors with reporters and TV cameras looking on. 

The first couple picked was Lynn Grotsky and Lisa Brodoff, who have been together for more than 30 years and have raised two children.

Grotsky says she is “thrilled.”

“We’ve been waiting for this for 31 years," she says. "That’s a very long engagement. And it wasn’t an engagement of choice. We would have been married years ago. And so as soon as we finally can legally do it, we want to be there in celebration.”  

Grotsky says she and her partner will marry in a civil ceremony later this month. They’ll wait for better weather in July to have a large celebration with friends and family. She adds this is also an exciting time for their now grown children who’ve been asking to go to their moms’ wedding since they were little kids. 

The Thurston County Auditor’s office in Olympia will open at midnight on Thursday for the 10 lottery winners. Meanwhile in King County, the marriage license office will open for business at 12:01AM and stay open until 6:30PM.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."