Washington state's historic same sex marriage law took effect at midnight and moments after that, the first couple took their vows.

About 140 same-sex couples are getting married at Seattle's City Hall on Sunday - the first day weddings can take place.

Public school elementary teachers Sarah and Emily Cofer were the first to get married at midnight at the King County Courthouse in Seattle. The couple has been together for 10 years.

Judge Mary Yu conducted the ceremony while several cameras clicked in the background.

City officials opened City Hall on Sunday at 10 a.m. and 16 local judges volunteered to conduct the weddings. There were five separate chapels to accommodate the couples.

Eleven other couples got married overnight. Each waited to take their vows at 30-minute intervals with Judge Yu.

Washington voters approved Referendum 74 in November with 54 percent of the vote. The measure asked voters to either approve or reject the state law legalizing same-sex marriage that legislators passed earlier this year.

The law took effect on Thursday, but state law says couples have wait three days to marry after picking their marriage licenses.

Mayor Mike McGinn said opening city hall on Sunday underlines that the city stands behind the partnership of same-sex couples.

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