On December 6, 2012, at 12:01 a.m., Seattleites Jane Abbott Lighty, 77, and her partner of 35 years, Pete-e Petersen, 85, were the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in King County. They were married three days later, the first day it was legal to do so, at Benaroya Hall during the Seattle Men’s Chorus holiday show. In the couple’s rose-petal-littered wake, thousands of same-sex couples from Klickitat to Whatcom and Spokane to Clallam counties have embraced all the challenges and clichés of the formerly heterosexual institution.
The Full List: Most Influential People of 2013
Their finger prints are all over Seattle. From protecting honeybees to regulating marijuana to popping and locking, these 54 men and women (and in one case, a machine) are shaping our neighborhoods, economy, attitudes and future. In the case of our person of the year—for the first time in our nine years of compiling this list, it’s a tie!—the impact is on a global scale. We may not always like the direction they are taking us in but it’s hard to deny: these folks are taking us somewhere.