Sunday, February 15, 2009


Friday's Daily Star announced that two lesbians got a marriage license from the Pima County clerk in Tucson during a Freedom to Marry protest on Thursday. The original plan appeared to have been for a male couple to attempt to obtain a license as a centerpiece of the protest, and that part went off without a hitch when their application was rejected on the basis of the word "bride" having been scratched out and replaced with "groom." So then the lesbians decided to give it a go and just left the form unaltered. The clerk shrugged and said whatevs, and they walked out with a signed, stamped, and notarized marriage license, leaving their fellow protestors a bit dumfounded and forcing a slight change in the program from full-on protest to slightly befuddled celebration.
[Clerk of the court Patti] Noland said her clerks do not ask about a couple's gender when they apply for a marriage certificate.

"It doesn't matter one way or another. If they fill out the form and swear it's true and correct, we'll issue the marriage license," Noland said.

The women could face charges of fraudulent schemes and practices, a Class 5 felony.

The women are prepared to argue that the information they provided and swore to is accurate, and that they cannot be held liable for an inherently faulty legal form that presupposes "bride/groom" rather than "party 1/party 2." No one is really expecting any charges to be filed, and no one, unfortunately, is really expecting any state-sanctioned nuptials either. The local marriage equality folks are lining up the ACLU and Lamba Legal for the inevitable court case when the state--bound both by statute and the reprehensible constitutional amendment passed in November by every fucking county except ours--refuses to honor the license that was issued.

Still, interesting times. Interesting decision by the clerk who okayed the application, interesting reaction by the head clerk, and, I'm sure, an interesting bit of litigation coming down the pike. Stay tuned.


Homer said...

I think Coconina County also did not pass 102.

Boltgirl said...

Ah, it did pass there, barely, by 51 percent. The city of Flagstaff rejected it pretty resoundingly, but the rural county voters heavily supported it. Goddamn Tuba City.