NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As soon as the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage was announced couples, many of whom had already gathered at the Dallas County Clerk’s Office, lined up to get marriage licenses. Judge Dale Tillery has vowed to waive the 72-hour waiting period and begin performing wedding ceremonies there in the next few hours.
As soon as the dozens of people lined up can get a marriage license, they say they will walk over to the George Allen Courts Building and get married. But the wait could be significant. At one point, before the lunch hour, crowds at the Clerk’s Office forced Dallas County Sheriff’s deputies to escorted people to less crowded probate courts.
Some couple’s showed up at 8 o’clock Friday morning and waited for the Supreme Court’s decision. Smiles, laughs and hugs showed just how excited the couples were.
The line at the office quickly began to grow as more couple showed up trying to get married.
As of 11 a.m. the Dallas County Clerk was meeting with lawyers, officials there have said that as soon as that meeting is over marriage licenses will be issued. Later on Friday, the Dallas County Clerk of Courts office on Main St. downtown said they would stay open two hours later to accommodate requests. They normally close their doors at 4:30pm.
For some couple’s, who have been waiting for years, the day is overwhelming.
Michael Perez explained, “It’s just utter happiness when I read that tweet that came in. I started laughing. I’m so happy.”
“I feel like I’m going to pass out,” Brad Sanders said as he waited to get his marriage license “I feel like I could faint and at any moment. I’m thrilled! We were together for eight years. We’ve been waiting for this for five to six [years] and couldn’t believe it. [I’m] so proud to be an American and to be here in Texas. So happy!”
Workers at the Dallas County Records Office say everyone there is ready and that more workers will be brought in and hours extended to make sure everyone is taken care of today.
As of lunchtime in Tarrant County, officials there were still working out how to implement the new ruling.
Officials say there will be gay marriages allowed in Tarrant County, but they’re trying to find out exactly how to implement the change.
Workers with at the County Clerk’s Office have been in meetings with the District Attorney’s Office district since about 8 a.m. Clerks wanted to clarify how to apply the new rules considering everything that is currently in place.
But starting today, June 26, Tarrant County will use current marriage applications for people of same-sex and they will start marrying couples right away.
There are seven Tarrant County annexes that can perform marriages, so officials say they don’t expect lines or problems with access.
Across North Texas, in Collin County the scene was relative quiet at the records building. Officials there said they’ve taken calls asking if they can issue same-sex marriage licenses and as of lunchtime the answer was no.
The Collin County Court Clerk is said to be getting legal counsel about how exactly to proceed. Officials say there are database and online application problems, including forms that request the specific name of the bride and the groom.
While there are no same-sex marriage licenses being issued in Collin or Denton Counties, according to Texas law you can apply for a marriage license anywhere in the state.
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