Harford equipped, ready to issue same-sex marriage licenses

The Harford County Clerk of the Circuit Court's office is now equipped to start accepting applications for same-sex marriage licenses, but none have come in yet.

The software issue that did not allow for same-sex licenses was corrected at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Harford Clerk of the Court James Reilly said.

"We have not received any applications as of yet," he said Thursday.

State Attorney General Doug Gansler recently wrote that local marriage bureaus can begin taking applications for same-sex marriage licenses "immediately" and may issue licenses to same-sex couples in December as long as they do not become effective until "the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve," when such marriages can be formally authorized under Maryland law.

Havre de Grace City Councilman Joe Smith is one person who said he and his partner were planning to get married in January, if not necessarily on New Year's.

Reilly did say earlier he had been contacted by "several individuals," including Smith, about the possibility of getting a license in time for a New Year's wedding.

The main challenges to issuing licenses immediately were the wait for Gov. Martin O'Malley's formal approval, which came Thursday, and the need to update the Circuit Court's software, Reilly said.

Reilly noted that the courthouse and the clerk's marriage room are closed on New Year's Day, no wedding ceremonies will be performed there until Jan. 2.

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