Despite being named after a goofy cat who lives with a tidy, single man, Garfield County may just be the least gay place in the great state of Washington.*
The Secretary of State’s office today released tallies of gay marriages in the state one year after Referendum 74 went into effect, and noted that zero gay marriages were performed in that wheat producing southeastern county.
At the six-month mark of marriage equality in Washington, Seattle Weekly tallied up some gay-marriage stats and examined what was happening in Adams County, which rejected the ballot measure by the widest margin in the 2012 election. We were happily surprised to hear that a gay marriage had already occurred there.
However, such joy hasn’t reached Garfield County, county seat Pomeroy.
There’s a big caveat: The numbers released by the state Department of Health note where marriages were performed, not the number of licenses issued by the county. So, as my co-worker suggested to me, Garfield County could just be a terrible place to get married. But I doubt that, given the beautiful, Palouse-ian scenes like this that are on tap.
Another possibility is that there was just too damn much wheat to harvest to waste time marrying your one-and-only.
Or it could be that’s just not the way they do. Voters in Garfield County were no fans of R-74. They were just behind Adams County in rejecting the measure, with 71.39 percent of voters saying no.
Whatever the explanation, the courthouse in Pomeroy is absolutely darling, if anyone is curious.
More fun stats from the DOH:
Between the law’s effective date, December 6, 2012, and the most recent complete month of data, September 30, 2013:
– Same sex couples made up 17 percent of marriages in Washington
- There were 7,071 same sex couples among the 42,408 total couples who married in the state
- Most of the state’s same sex marriages, 62 percent, occurred between two women.
- The top five Washington counties where same sex marriages occurred were King County with 3,452; Clark County with 785; Pierce County with 486; Snohomish County with 330; and Thurston County with 300 marriages.
- In 24 percent of same sex marriages, both spouses live in another state.
- There were 524 same sex marriages in which both parties lived in Oregon.
*Yes, we are aware that the name Garfield County precedes Jim Davis’ fantastic cartoon.