A marriage solemnized before any person professing to be a minister or a priest of any religious denomination in this state or professing to be an authorized officer thereof, is not void, nor shall the validity thereof be in any way affected on account of any want of power or authority in such person, if such marriage be consummated with a belief on the part of the persons so married, or either of them, that they have been lawfully joined in marriage.
Formerly RCW In the solemnization of marriage no particular form is required, except that the parties thereto shall assent or declare in the presence of the minister, priest, or judicial officer solemnizing the same, and in the presence of at least two attending witnesses, that they take each other to be husband and wife. The person solemnizing a marriage shall give to each of the parties thereto, if required, a certificate thereof, specifying therein the names and residence of the parties, and of at least two witnesses present, the time and place of such marriage.
A person solemnizing a marriage shall, within thirty days thereafter, make and deliver to the county auditor of the county wherein the license was issued a certificate for the files of the county auditor, and a certificate for the files of the state registrar of vital statistics.
This is to certify that the undersigned, a. In Testimony Whereof, witness the signatures of the parties to said ceremony, the witnesses and myself, this. The certificate forms for the files of the county auditor and for the files of the state registrar of vital statistics shall be provided by the state registrar of vital statistics.
The county auditor shall file said certificates and record them or bind them into numbered volumes, and note on the original index to the license issued the volume and page wherein such certificate is recorded or bound. He shall enter the date of filing and his name on the certificates for the files of the state registrar of vital statistics, and transmit, by the tenth day of each month, all such certificates filed with him during the preceding month. The county auditor may preserve copies of marriage license applications submitted and marriage licenses issued under this chapter in the same manner as authorized for the recording of instruments under RCW Any person solemnizing a marriage, who shall wilfully refuse or neglect to make and deliver to the county auditor for record, the certificates mentioned in RCW All marriages to which there are no legal impediments, solemnized before or in any religious organization or congregation, according to the established ritual or form commonly practiced therein, are valid, and a certificate containing the particulars specified in RCW When either party to a marriage shall be incapable of consenting thereto, for want of legal age or a sufficient understanding, or when the consent of either party shall be obtained by force or fraud, such marriage is voidable, but only at the suit of the party laboring under the disability, or upon whom the force or fraud is imposed.
Before any persons can be joined in marriage, they shall procure a license from a county auditor, as provided in RCW Any person may secure by mail from the county auditor of the county in the state of Washington where he intends to be married, an application, and execute and acknowledge said application before a notary public. In addition to the application provided for in RCW After the execution of the application for, and the issuance of a license, no county shall require the persons authorized to solemnize marriages to obtain any further information from the persons to be married except the names and county of residence of the persons to be married.
Any such application shall be open to public inspection as a part of the records of the office of such county auditor. If a program participant under chapter The county auditor may issue the marriage license at the time of application, but shall issue such license no later than the third full day following the date of the application.
A marriage license issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may not be used until three days after the date of application and shall become void if the marriage is not solemnized within sixty days of the date of the issuance of the license, and the county auditor shall notify the applicant in writing of this requirement at the time of issuance of the license.
Any county auditor is hereby authorized to refuse to issue a license to marry if, in his discretion, the applications executed by the parties or information coming to his knowledge as a result of the execution of said applications, justifies said refusal: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, The denied parties may appeal to the superior court of said county for an order to show cause, directed to said county auditor to appear before said court to show why said court should not grant an order to issue a license to said denied parties and, after due hearing, or if the auditor fails to appear, said court may in its discretion, issue an order to said auditor directing him to issue said license; any hearings held by a superior court under RCW Any person intentionally violating any provision of RCW If the consent in writing is obtained of the father, mother, or legal guardian of the person for whom the license is required, the license may be granted in cases where the female has attained the age of seventeen years or the male has attained the age of seventeen years.
Such affidavit may be subscribed and sworn to before any person authorized to administer oaths. The person solemnizing the marriage is authorized to retain in his possession the license, but the county auditor who issues the same, before delivering it, shall enter in his marriage record a memorandum of the names of the parties, the consent of the parents or guardian, if any, and the name of the affiant and the substance of the affidavit upon which said license issued, and the date of such license.
Every person who shall solemnize a marriage when either party thereto is known to him to be under the age of legal consent or a marriage to which, within his knowledge, any legal impediment exists, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. Many Washingtonians are in intimate, committed, and exclusive relationships with another person to whom they are not legally married. These relationships are important to the individuals involved and their families; they also benefit the public by providing a private source of mutual support for the financial, physical, and emotional health of those individuals and their families.
The public has an interest in providing a legal framework for such mutually supportive relationships, whether the partners are of the same or different sexes, and irrespective of their sexual orientation. The legislature finds that same sex couples, because they cannot marry in this state, do not automatically have the same access that married couples have to certain rights and benefits, such as those associated with hospital visitation, health care decision-making, organ donation decisions, and other issues related to illness, incapacity, and death.
Although many of these rights and benefits may be secured by private agreement, doing so often is costly and complex. The legislature also finds that the public interest would be served by extending rights and benefits to different sex couples in which either or both of the partners is at least sixty-two years of age. While these couples are entitled to marry under the state's marriage statutes, some social security and pension laws nevertheless make it impractical for these couples to marry. For this reason, chapter , Laws of specifically allows couples to enter into a state registered domestic partnership if one of the persons is at least sixty-two years of age, the age at which many people choose to retire and are eligible to begin collecting social security and pension benefits.
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