Local recorders to use Aug. 1 date

FAIRMONT – While some bigger counties in Minnesota have begun accepting same-sex marriage license applications, gay couples planning to get married in Martin or Faribault counties must wait until Aug. 1 to apply.

According to Martin County Recorder Kay Wrucke and Faribault County Recorder Sherry Asmus, a conference for recorders’ offices throughout the state will be held next week to address the specifics.

“We need uniformity throughout the state,” Wrucke said. “The law goes into effect Aug. 1, and we will begin accepting applications at that time. Some of the bigger cities, they have a bigger volume of applicants. Here, we don’t have that. There is a five-day waiting period, and I think it’s being done there just to handle the volume.”

“I know in the metro counties they’ve started, but the smaller counties won’t put anything into effect until Aug. 1,” Asmus said.

The change on the forms won’t be drastic. The most complicated change for counties will be in the computer software that prints out applications and marriage licenses.

“The terminology being used is applicants ‘one’ and ‘two’; they’ve taken out the references to bride and groom, so it’s more generic,” Wrucke said. “But it is quite a process to go through. The software is provided by a vendor and it will need to be updated. We need to keep things as consistent as possible statewide, and that includes the paperwork. Hopefully, all of this will be done by Aug. 1.”

Wrucke consulted the Martin County Attorney’s Office about whether to make applications available before Aug. 1.

“We both agreed [the decision to wait] was more compliant with the law,” she said.