Same-Sex couples apply for marriage licenses

YAKIMA, Wash. -- It's the day many couples here in Washington have been waiting for, an opportunity that's been denied their entire lives. Starting today gay couples could apply for a marriage license. Action News spoke with one local couple now planning a wedding.

"She is loving and loyal and frustrating as heck, but I love her to pieces. And, I'm happy that we can finally get to do this. It'll be great," said Anne Hernandez.

She is describing her fiance Carmen who she's ready to call her wife.

"Well, it was exciting to finally be able to have a real name for Carmen instead of just my partner cause people always wonder is it a business partner or what. It's nice to finally make it be an official marriage. She'll be my wife finally after all this time."

Anne and Carmen Hernandez have been together for 11 years after meeting while training in the Army. They've been in a domestic partnership for five years, but say being married will be different.

"There's just a different level of recognition when it becomes a marriage. And, I think that anyone who is in an adult, consensual, loving relationship should be allowed to do that."

"I mean anyone can go to Vegas, any straight couple, can go to Vegas meet somebody at a bar and get married right away. Homosexual couples realize that it's not a decision to take lightly. It's an important decision," said Carmen Hernandez.

She says it's about having the same rights as everyone else.

"We are able to get married today, but maybe a couple in Kansas can't and that really sucks. It would be great for them to be able to get their local courthouse and apply for a marriage license. It's about time that we're able to make that decision as well to be able to get married and have that right and state recognition," said Carmen.

Now, Anne and Carmen are planning their wedding and started by shopping for rings. Anne and Carmen plan to have a small, private ceremony next week. Yakima County's auditor tells us seven same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses here today.