Gregg Co issues same sex marriage licenses with a typewriter

Published: Jun. 29, 2015 at 8:01 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2015 at 11:30 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - In an effort to comply with the Supreme Court's decision on same sex marriage, Gregg County has pieced together marriage license documents. In that respect they were ready, but they have had a few glitches to deal with.

Carla Chappell and Angela Lunsford said they have been waiting for this moment for three years, and were about to go to Lamar County for a license when they saw something on Facebook.

“From you guys, KLTV, that said Smith County had issued their first same sex license so I thought well, let me call Gregg County since they're closer. She said 'Yes, ma'am,' so here we are,” Chappell said.

But there were a few problems; since the new license wasn't part of the software, County Clerk Connie Wade made the correct forms with scissors and glue.

“We actually had to cut and paste in order to have a new counter worksheet for the application,” Wade said.

Now it conforms to what the Bureau of Vital Statistics is calling "applicant one" and "applicant two" instead of male and female. But the license had to be altered, too.

“Again, it was sort of a cut and paste with two different documents in order for us to come up with a document that would be usable for the same-sex marriage,” Wade explained.

Wade put some time into the new design, and Chappell and Lunsford put some time into getting one. Since the process is pretty much manual, it became, well, a process. It took about 20 minutes.

“Make sure your names are spelled correctly,” advised a clerk as she handed over the license.

They were, and pictures were taken, but the document still had a few blank spaces, so they took it back and put it in a typewriter.

“We actually have two typewriters in this office. We've moved one back over here, and yes, my ladies are indeed typing with an old fashioned typewriter,” Connie said.

Afterward, we spoke in the hall.

“So how long has this been coming?” I asked Chappell.

“All my life,” she replied.

Compared to that, the wait today wasn't bad at all, she added.

The notary seal which was done in the hall, and the process was complete.

“Maybe you should go back in there and check to see if there isn't one more thing,” I suggested. They laughed, but didn't go back in.

Then they were chased down because they didn't have the receipt. Then it was for real, with all pertinent papers in hand.

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