Making a public statement is part of what weddings are about, but seldom are the statements so loud and clear.
Teresa Guajardo and Tina Roose are getting married in the Capitol Rotunda in Olympia on Dec. 15, and they’re signing up as many other gay and lesbian couples as they can to turn the Capitol into one big wedding chapel that day.
Why the Capitol?
“It’s the people’s house,” Roose said. “It’s where the Senate and House and the governor all supported marriage equality.”
“And,” Guajardo added, “it’s spectacularly beautiful.”
Roose reserved the Rotunda in February after calculating that, if Referendum 74 were approved, Dec. 15 would be the first Saturday after the law went into effect.
“It was an act of faith in the voters of the state of Washington,” she said.
She said that on election night, in the glow of victory, her idea evolved into a plan to have as many couples as possible get married in the Capitol in simultaneous or consecutive ceremonies.
“We just said, ‘Let’s share the joy,’” Guajardo said. “Let’s share the fun and give everybody an opportunity to have a beautiful event in a way that’s somewhat easy.”
Roose, 67, is a retired librarian. Guajardo, 43, is a mental health counselor. They live in Olympia and have been together for 13 years.
Their wedding will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Others – however many there turn out to be – will be conducted from 1-2:30 p.m. on the north, south, east and west balconies on the third floor, with ongoing receptions on the balcony above that.
They’ve ordered wedding cake for 200 and gluten-free cake for 50. And they have a Facebook page: “Get married with us at the State Capitol.”
Elsewhere in the state, hundreds of same-sex couples will get the jump on Guajardo and Roose with ceremonies earlier in the week.
In Seattle, eight municipal judges have volunteered their time to marry couples in City Hall on Dec. 9, the first day a certificate can be signed.
Couples will be able to pick up their marriage licenses and certificates Dec. 6 – one full month after the election. But Washington requires a three-day waiting period before couples actually tie the knot.
R-74 asked voters to approve or reject a state law legalizing same-sex marriage. Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the law in February, but it was put on hold pending the election.
Statewide, 53 percent of voters approved R-74.
In Thurston County, the referendum passed easily, 55.5 percent to 44.5 percent. It failed in Pierce County, but just barely – by about 3,000 votes out of approximately 340,000 votes cast, according to unofficial results.Rob Carson: 253-597-8693