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Larimer County Issues First Ever Same-Sex Marriage License

Grace Hood
Denise Ruybal with Larimer County helps Wendy Wood (left) and Barb Hooper (right) as they complete their marriage license.

Amid cheers and hugs in the Larimer County Clerk and Recorder's Office, Barb Hooper and Wendy Wood received the first same-sex marriage license in the county's history.

It was such a simple piece of paperwork, and yet Hooper said it was emotional.

"My heart was racing and I wasn't totally attuned to the directions," she said, laughing.

Larimer County is among two Colorado counties issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear appeals arguments on the question of same-sex wedding bans.

Wendy Wood said she called Larimer County today to see when it would be issuing licenses. 

"I called after I had heard that the attorney general had lifted the stays and was directing all county clerks to see if we could get married," said Wood. "She was in a meeting and I was like 'Come on, we've got to get down to the county courthouse.'"

Larimer Clerk Angela Myers said she had been preparing the county to issue the licenses, but didn't start until the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay on same-sex marriages.

"It's really been clear cut all the way along. I mean, we follow the laws as they are. I've got so many laws I can't pick and choose. So once the laws were clear that I can, I do," she said.

Credit Grace Hood / KUNC

After the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a gay marriage ban in Utah on June 25, a handful of clerk and recorders in Colorado began issuing same-sex marriage licenses. That touched off a back-and-forth between the state's Attorney General and the county clerks on whether licenses could be issued. Eventually, the Colorado Supreme Court put a halt to the issuing of licenses until the U.S. Supreme could weigh in.

Myers said she's only gotten a handful of phone calls about same-sex marriage licenses, but things are picking up.

When asked about the future of civil union licenses, Myers said they'll become less popular. But she's not ruling them out entirely.

"It's interesting. Sometimes we have heterosexual couples come in for civil unions. So it's just a preference," she said.

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