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EXCLUSIVE: First same-sex marriage licenses issued in Washington County, Utah
| Saturday, December 21, 2013, 12:50 am |   (770 views)

The first same-sex marriage license was issued by the Washington County Clerk's Office at 4:50 p.m. on Dec. 20 to Adrian Durrant and Lisa Hinkley of St. George and Leeds, Utah, respectively.

The two stated they'd like to be married right away if they could find someone to perform the ceremony. They have been dating for 14 months.

Adrian Durrant and Lisa Hinkley hold up their newly issued marriage license.

The second license to be issued in Washington County was obtained very near the same time to a male couple that has been together for 11 years but would prefer to be unnamed.

Both couples had heard on the news about the ruling that lifted Utah's same-sex marriage ban today and rushed to the Washington County Clerk's Office in St. George. They were the only two couples to make it before the closing time of 5 p.m. All four expressed their excitement over being the first to get marriage licenses in Washington County and said they hoped to be married as soon as possible.

News that it was now OK to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples was delayed in Washington County, and the instructions arrived only moments before the first couple reached the Washington County Clerks Office. That was nearly an hour after the time northern Utah counties began issuing their licenses. The delay was partially caused by Washington County Clerk Kim Hafen, the responsible party to give the directive to the staff, being out of the office.

"There is no legal basis to treat qualifying same-sex couples any differently, presuming they are otherwise eligible," said County Attorney Brock Belnap.

The ability for same-sex couples to marry has been made possible by a federal judge's ruling today that declared Utah's 2004 ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

SEE RELATED STORIES: BREAKING NEWS: Federal judge declares Utah's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

UPDATE: How I got to be a legal witness at St. George’s first gay wedding

BREAKING NEWS: Federal judge's ruling strikes down criminalization of polygamy


Story & photos by Josh Warburton Click on thumbnails below to enlarge images

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