Many parishes across Louisiana begin issuing marriage licenses t - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Many parishes across Louisiana begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

BR couple Scott Kirkland and Kenneth Parker were first to apply for same-sex marriage license in EBR Parish (Source: WAFB) BR couple Scott Kirkland and Kenneth Parker were first to apply for same-sex marriage license in EBR Parish (Source: WAFB)
New marriage license in Louisiana (Source: KSLA) New marriage license in Louisiana (Source: KSLA)
East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court (Source: WAFB) East Baton Rouge Clerk of Court (Source: WAFB)
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Many parishes across Louisiana began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at 1 p.m. Monday. East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Iberia, East Feliciana, West Feliciana, Lafayette, St. Landry, St. Mary and St. James parishes are among those in the Greater Baton Rouge and surrounding areas.

The first license was issued in the state around 10:30 a.m. Monday in Jefferson Parish on advice of Clerk of Court Attorney Jon Litchfield. The clerk's office made the decision despite an advisory from the Louisiana Clerk of Courts.

The first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in East Baton Rouge Parish was Scott Kirkland and Kenneth Parker. 

The Louisiana Clerks of Courts Association. LCCA, initially advised Louisiana parishes on Friday against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until all "legal necessities are in place." 

Those legal necessities included a pending ruling from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that would put the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states in force in Louisiana, as well as in Texas and Mississippi. The reversal on holding off on issuing licenses in Louisiana also comes in spite of the fact that there is a 25-day rehearing period for Supreme Court decisions. 

St. John Parish is still following the advice of the La. Clerk of Courts and waiting the 25 days. Pointe Coupee Parish also won't make a decision until they hear from the LCCA.

While other parishes are either waiting for word from their attorneys like West Baton Rouge or the Clerk of Court for the parish like St. Helena which could make a decision on Tuesday. 

Some parishes like Iberville and Assumption will be issuing licenses once they have updated their systems. There is no timetable for when that will be ready.

Immediately after the Supreme Court's ruling on Friday, same-sex couples living in Louisiana traveled to the offices of their parish clerk of court to obtain a marriage license. Despite the Supreme Court's ruling, many were turned away.

Louisiana becomes the last state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the United States. Mississippi stopped officials from issuing marriage licenses to gay couples after three licenses were already issued. Wilkinson County is issuing licenses as of Monday afternoon. 

"We were never trying to hold, we just needed to consult with our legal team first to make sure everything was legal," said Fred Sliman, spokesperson for EBR Clerk of Court.

He said that they had some people try to get licenses on Friday, but not too many, and there is not a line at this time.

The best resource for couples seeking to obtain a marriage license is to first visit www.ebrclerkofcourt.org. There is a special section for marriage licenses and it will tell you what you need to have with you when you come to apply.

Clerk of Court in Ascension Parish Bridget Hanna said she made the decision and thought it was time. "We were ready for it and all of our documents have been changed," she said. 

Although the Ascension Parish Clerk of Court has received many phone calls, no same-sex couples have applied for a marriage license at this time.

For a list of what is needed for a marriage license in Ascension Parish, visit http://www.ascensionclerk.com/Marriage-Licenses. 

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