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Todd Hougaard, KSL TV

Weber County Clerk's Office unable to open Saturday to issue same-sex marriage licenses

By Alex Cabrero | Posted - Dec. 21, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.


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OGDEN — Hundreds of people started getting in line at the Weber County Clerk's office Saturday to obtain same-sex marriage licenses a day after a federal judge ruled the practice in Utah was constitutional.

Originally, the office said it would be open from 1 to 2 p.m. and anyone in line by 2 p.m. would get marriage licenses.

In a letter, Weber County Clerk Ricky Hatch said he was anticipating so many people coming in on Monday morning for marriage licenses, he figured he could help reduce some of that rush by opening for an hour today.

However, he admits he didn't anticipate what it would take to get the office opened.

The county clerk said security concerns and respect for other tenants in the building forced him to decide to not open today.

He also said opening for the special circumstances might violate equal protection provisions. Normally, the office is closed on Saturdays.

People in line were obviously upset.

"The law was determined to be unconstitutional, and it's unfortunate they're making this decision when there are hundreds of their citizens right now that have a right to and deserve to have access to marriage and are being denied it. It's really a tragedy," John Metto of the Utah Pride Center said.

Now, like other county clerk offices across the state Weber County will open at 8 a.m. Monday.

Yesterday, at least 100 same-sex couples were married in Utah.

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Alex Cabrero

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