OGDEN, Utah - After a false opening over the weekend, the Weber County clerk’s office opened to dozens of same sex couples Monday morning looking for licenses.
In the first two hours, employees issued 40 marriage licenses. For these same-sex couples, waiting a couple more days was worth it to finally get a marriage license.
“It’s been a roller coaster,” says recently married Michael Haag. “Tears, laughing… more tears, laughing again.”
Haag and now husband, Nicholas Jahsman have been together 14 years. They were among those who waited on Saturday for the Weber County clerk’s office to open, only to be turned away when officials changed their mind.
“There are other businesses in this office,” says Weber County public affairs director Holin Wilbanks. “And the crowds were so long, due to security reasons, we couldn’t do that.”
Monday, an apologetic county clerk helped employees issue licenses as quickly as possible.
“We’re following the rules that we’ve been asked to follow, and the guidelines and we’ll continue to do that,” says Wilbanks. “We know that there’s a lot going on right now and things could change, and if they do we’ll obviously have to follow those rules too.”
In an attempt to make it easier for these couples, local clergy gathered at the Hampton inn across the street from the clerk’s office to perform the ceremonies for those couples.
“I think it’s amazing,” says Jahsman. “We were walking down the street from the county building to here and people are yelling at us ‘congratulations!’ we feel very supported.
Couples say it’s that support that means the most. After years of being denied, they’re finally getting the one thing they never thought they would.