I've witnessed so much over the past few days. My admiration for Washington has morphed into intense pride.

I’ve witnessed so much over the past few days. My admiration for Washington has morphed into intense pride.

This year’s victory in the name of marriage equality has convinced me that love conquers fear, minds can change, and the best is yet to come for our state.

I only attended one wedding event over the weekend: Sunday’s public reception at the Paramount Theater. It was an incredible sight to behold.

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In the photo above, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is on stage toasting hundreds of couples. State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, also appeared before the adoring audience to declare a bittersweet victory following his 17-year struggle to shepherd same-sex marriage rights through the Legislature. Outgoing Gov. Chris Gregoire reminded the children in the audience that their parents have waited a long time for this moment — and Washington voters have set a precedent for other states to follow.

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“Today in Washington state, same-sex couples [are the] first in the United States to be legally married through a popular vote of the people,” Gregoire said to the cheering crowd. “It’s just really sweet to know our fellow Washingtonians said ‘yes’ to equality.”

Very sweet, indeed.

I’ve lived in five places outside Washington state. You just don’t see this kind of openness to social progress every day, especially from the state’s highest-level public officials.

For the first dance of the evening, Seattle singer Choklat belted out a stirring rendition of the Etta James classic, “At Last.” So apt.