County clerk and clergy celebrate marriage equality - WNEM TV 5

County clerk and clergy celebrate marriage equality

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MIDLAND COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The Rev. Jeff Liebmann is one of the many clergyman and advocated who have spent years pushing for same-sex marriage.

“I was kind of thinking it wasn't going to be till Monday, so when it came out, we were thrilled,” Liebmann said.

Liebmann, Universalist Unitarian Church of Midland, took a large group to the Midland County Clerk's Office to ring in the Supreme Court decision.

“I think the couples who come today are the ones that really want to be part of history and don't really care, they'll have a ceremony later,” Liebmann said.

And today, it's the Midland County Clerk's job to make that history happen.

“Probably within about 10-15 minutes of the ruling coming down, we started receiving phone calls, asking how they would get their license, and we told them, just come on down,” Ann Manary said.

Manary is the Midland County clerk and like so many other county clerks across the country, she has been preparing for this day for a while.

“We were prepared beforehand,” Manary said. “I had some draft copies of the forms that we were going to use if we didn't get the ones from the state.”

The forms from the state now read: “applicant one” and “applicant two” instead of using a specific gender.

“About 10 minutes after the ruling came down, I did receive an e-mail from our vital records division in Lansing with the new forms,” Manary said.

The Rev. Liebmann expects many couples to have a larger celebration down the road after getting the formal and legal documents signed today.

“There's just been so many build-ups and disappointments, and there's of course the desire to have a big ceremony just like any other couple would want to have,” Liebmann said.

The county clerk here in midland says getting ready for a ruling like this takes lots of teamwork. But just minutes after it was announced today, Manary said her office didn't miss a beat getting any couple what they needed to officially move forward.

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