Maricopa County Issues Hundreds of Marriage Licenses on First Day Gays Allowed to Wed

Scottdale residents David Chaney and Clark Rowley, after getting their marriage license from Maricopa County on Friday.
Scottdale residents David Chaney and Clark Rowley, after getting their marriage license from Maricopa County on Friday.
Ray Stern

Courts across Maricopa County issued nearly 300 wedding licenses on Friday, the first day of legal gay marriage in the state of Arizona.

Aaron Nash, a spokesman for the Clerk of the Superior Court, tells New TImes that three times as many marriage licenses were issued on Friday than on an average day, and there are still couples coming in today.

"It's busier than normal," Nash says. "It's a steady demand, but [there aren't] lines out the door or anything like that."

See also: -Same-Sex Marriage Legal in Arizona -Historic Legal Same-Sex Weddings Begin in Arizona

At $76 a piece, the county banked nearly $15,000 more in marriage license fees on Friday than it averaged before gay marriage was legalized.

The licenses were allowed to be issued by mid-morning Friday, as Attorney General Tom Horne announced that he wouldn't appeal a federal judge's ruling that the state needed to stop enforcing its bans on same-sex marriage.

"I fought it as far as I ethically could," Horne said on Friday.

Even when Horne was making his announcement, he said he'd heard there were already 10 same-sex couples at the Maricopa County Clerk's office that morning waiting to get marriage licenses.

Some clergy members who support same-sex marriage were at the clerk's office, volunteering to host impromptu ceremonies, and the City of Phoenix made available some municipal judges later in the afternoon to hold ceremonies as well.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.


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