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W.Va. county clerks grapple with same-sex marriage

Charleston Daily Mail photo by Craig Cunningham Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick holds the revised marriage license application which refers to the applicants as Party A and Party B allowing for same sex marriages. Many counties were caught unprepared by way of printed forms after Thursday’s announcement that the state would no longer defend its ban on same-sex marriages.
Charleston Daily Mail photo by Craig Cunningham
Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick holds the revised marriage license application which refers to the applicants as Party A and Party B allowing for same sex marriages. Many counties were caught unprepared by way of printed forms after Thursday’s announcement that the state would no longer defend its ban on same-sex marriages.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After West Virginia’s governor and attorney general announced Thursday afternoon they would no longer defend the state’s statute banning same-sex marriage, same-sex marriage was understood to be something to happen soon, but at an unknown time.

Then, the state announced same-sex marriages could begin on Tuesday.

Then, the state announced same-sex marriages could begin immediately.

As the state government tried to figure out what it wanted to do, West Virginia’s 55 county clerks were left trying to determine what was legal and what was not.

Kanawha County became the first county in the state to announce it would begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Daily Mail first reported. Cabell was next, followed in no particular order by Nicholas, Monongalia, Berkeley, Jefferson and Randolph.

But across West Virginia, other counties were largely unaware of the afternoon’s events.

Most clerks interviewed by the Daily Mail Friday — especially in rural counties — weren’t happy with the way the state handled the announcement, saying they were left out of the loop and confused as to whether same-sex marriage was allowed or not.

“We had several newspapers call us yesterday,” Morgan County Clerk Debra Kesecker said Friday morning. “If one of my employees hadn’t seen it on the Internet, we wouldn’t have known about it.” Others, like Marion County Clerk Janice Cosco said the switch for her office was fairly smooth…

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