Beginning Thursday (today), same-sex couples can get marriage licenses in Anne Arundel County.
"We've had two same-sex applications applied for today already," Circuit Court Clerk Robert Duckworth said. "I think the word is just getting out as to the availability of this process."
That process includes a holding period that restricts the licenses validity until Jan. 1, 2013.
Same-sex marriage was signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley on March 1 and voters upheld the law on Election Day by approving Question 6.
After the law was upheld, there was a question as to whether same-sex couples would be able to receive a license before Jan. 1, the day the law officially goes into effect, according to The Baltimore Sun. Because marriage licenses require a 48-hour waiting period in Anne Arundel County beginning the day after a couple files, this would mean same-sex couples wouldn't be able to wed until Jan. 4.
However, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler concluded county clerks could issue licenses as soon as the governor declared the referendum results accurate, according to The Sun.
On Thursday morning, Governor O'Malley signed the results.
"The application process is available as of today so that people who wish to get married on Jan. 1 can do that," Duckworth said. "However, the courthouse won't be open on Jan. 1."
The application process is the same for same-sex couples as it is for straight couples and comes with the same $55 fee.
Only one person needs to be present to apply for the license since Anne Arundel County's process works on the honor system, Duckworth said.
Applicants do need to know the full name, birth date and location, social security number and current address for both people.
If a person was married before, the courts asks for the date, county and state that all divorces or deaths occurred, but documentation is not required.
More information on how to obtain a marriage license in Anne Arundel County can be found on the Circuit Court's website.
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