Friday, June 26, 2015

First NE gay couples to get license, marry

ALSO: Even after the anti-gay-marriage GOP governor and attorney general capitulate, several Nebraska counties are finding excuses to continue to stall gay couples.


AKSARBENT rushed to the Douglas County (Omaha) courthouse when it heard that the first gay couples were on their way. So quickly we forgot the memory card for the good video camera, but the spare GoPro did the job. We couldn't remember where the County Clerk's office was but we didn't need to. We just ran toward the tripods in the hall.
     The TV people (before they started bumping into doors and each other) said a couple in Lincoln (Lancaster County) had already got hitched (turned out they got a license but won't get married 'til later at home) but we were there in time to get the first Douglas County couple, a charming pair of ladies who are probably the first gay couple to get married in Nebraska, although not the first to be issued a marriage license. Congratulations Kathy Pettersen [in purple],  and Beverly Reicks!
     KETV reports that County Clerk Tom Cavanaugh said the couple's seven-year wait was long enough and paid their license fee ($15; certified copies are $5 more) for them as a wedding gift. He said it was a pleasure to finally be able to say "yes" to everyone.
     From the World-Herald:
     The first couple in line in Lancaster County was Judith Gibson, 74, and Barbara DiBernard, 66, of Lincoln. It is believed they received the state’s first same-sex marriage license at 10:17 a.m., beating a couple in Douglas County.
     Gibson and DiBernard, who have been together nearly 27 years, embraced and cheered when they got the paperwork. They said they planned to exchange vows later in a ceremony at home.
     In Douglas County, Kathy Pettersen [in purple], 61, and Beverly Reicks, 52, were the first in line, saying they made a dash for the courthouse after the Supreme Court’s opinion was released. “We have never run so fast,” said Reicks, to a round of cheers and laughter.
     As they filled out the license, Pettersen began reading excerpts from the Supreme Court ruling about equality and love.
     “It is a historic day for civil rights in America,” she said.
     Unlike the Lincoln couple, Pettersen and Reicks were married at the courthouse. Chief Deputy Clerk Kathleen Hall officiated at the wedding.
      Douglas County Clerk Tom Cavanaugh couldn’t have been happier. He said he’d long wanted to issue a same-sex marriage license.
     “There’s equality in the state of Nebraska, and it is about time,” Cavanaugh said. “We don’t have to deny licenses anymore, and it’s a good feeling.”

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