County Clerks React to Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

By  | 

With the possibility of same-sex marriage in Nebraska as soon as March 9, many counties are now trying to figure out what to do next.

On Monday, The Nebraska Association of County Officials sent a letter to all 93 county clerks explaining parts of the constitution and state statues that apply to this ruling.

While some are more than prepared, others find themselves not so open to change.

In Lancaster County, the preparations for the gay marriage ruling have been going on for over a week now.

"We did this about 10 days ago in anticipation of the court action," said Dan Nolte, Lancaster County Clerk.

The marriage worksheets used to apply for the state marriage licenses have now been changed from bride and groom to applicant one and applicant two.

Nolte says they are expecting a big rush the first few days and he simply wants couples to have their paperwork prepared before heading to the court house.

Otoe County Clerk Janene Bennett, said she would not issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple even if ordered by a judge.

The county clerk is quoted saying:

"It has already went to a vote of the people and they voted to define marriage as between a man and a woman. They have spoken. Why are we going through it again?"

Bennett also said she would let her deputies decide what they believed to be right.

However, NACO says they have been receiving calls all day.

"We've had some other counties call wanting to know when does this take place and what are the requirements, said Executive Director, Larry Dix.

While some county clerks are now looking for other options, Dix says they really only have one.

"If the judge comes down next Monday at 8 a.m. saying you shall issue that license, then they shall issue that license."