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Same-sex couples seek marriage licenses in D.C.

WASHINGTON - One couple met on a Star Trek fan site, another dancing at a country western bar. Some have been together for months, others more than a decade.

About 150 pairs had something in common yesterday, though, applying for wedding licenses on the first day same-sex unions became legal in the nation's capital.

The mood at the marriage bureau in the city's Moultrie Courthouse was celebratory. Couples clapped, called out "Congratulations" and cupcakes and tulips were handed out. One family said it was important to show up the first day.

"It sets a good example," said district resident Christine Burkhart, who married Denise Gavin in a ceremony in 2006 in Washington. They stood in line rocking their twin 4-month-olds, Milo and Josephine. "We'll be able to tell them that we all went together as a family."

The District of Columbia became the sixth place in the country permitting same-sex unions. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont also issue same-sex couples licenses.

Because of a processing period of three business days for all marriage license applicants, the couples won't be able to marry until Tuesday. That's the day they can pick up their licenses.

Normally, the bureau handles 10 applications a day. Wednesday it was 151, including at least four heterosexual couples. - AP

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