Counties Handle Same Sex Marriage License Differently - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Counties Handle Same Sex Marriage License Differently

Several same sex couples lined up at the Midland County Courthouse today to get their marriage license. That's after the Supreme Court ruled same sex marriage is legal. Over in Ector County, it was a different story. They're not handing out marriage licenses to same sex couples just yet. Much different decisions made by the county clerks in Midland and Ector County, but with surprisingly the same reasons, they want to abide by the law.

"We are awaiting clarification from the Supreme Court ruling from our Texas Attorney General. There are some other players in this. Also there are some software issues that we have to tweak and correct and it may be several days, it may be several weeks," said Linda Haney, the Ector County Clerk.

Two cities miles apart both in distance and actions on this historic day.

"We've decided to go forward. The application does state groom bride so the couple would need to decide who is going to go first on the list and who is going to go second. We don't have an application that says groom groom or bride bride," said Alison Haley, the Midland County Clerk.

While the Ector County Clerk's Office says they await a green light from the Texas Attorney General, the Midland County Clerk's Office is getting their go ahead from the Supreme Court. They told NewsWest 9, it was a team effort between the County Clerk's Office and the County Attorney's Office.

"Our action in complying with the Supreme Court's ruling didn't just happen this morning. It was based on a well thought out and well-acted out plan. It's our opinion in Midland County that we are obligated at this point, legally obligated, to follow the law as decided on by the Supreme Court," said Russell Malm, the Midland County Attorney.

"I just took an oath to uphold the law and that's what I will do," said Haney.

"I am just following the law as stated. We're required to issue marriage licenses couples of same sex or opposite sex," said Haley Governor Greg Abbott put his two cents in today.

He made it strongly clear that he does not support the decision that was made today.

In a statement, Abbott says, "The Supreme Court has abandoned its role as an impartial judicial arbiter, and has become an un-elected nine-member legislature." He goes on to say, "Five justices on the Supreme Court have imposed on the entire country, their personal views on an issue that the constitution and the court's previous decisions... reserve to the people of the states." The Governor also issued a memo to all state agency heads stating that if the ruling violates their religious beliefs, it is up to their discretion to issue marriage licenses to gay couples.

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