Harford County receives first same-sex marriage applications

Harford County is joining jurisdictions around the state in preparing to see its first same-sex marriages in the next couple weeks.

The county had received eight applicants for same-sex marriage licenses as of Friday morning, Jim Reilly, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Harford County, said.

"We are not aware of the timing of those ceremonies except for one my staff is scheduled to perform on Jan. 2 at 1 p.m.," he said.

Havre de Grace City Councilman Joe Smith said Monday night he was one of those applicants. Smith had inquired with Reilly earlier about the possibility of getting a license in December in time for a New Year's wedding.

"My partner, fiancé, picked up our marriage license this afternoon and we are planning a New Year's wedding," he said. "We are looking forward to that happy event."

The Clerk of the Circuit Court's office began accepting applications Dec. 12, although State's Attorney Doug Gansler ruled that counties could begin accepting them in early December.

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

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

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