Three same-sex couples get marriage licenses
On Dec. 23, Annalee Howland and Rickelle Ann Limb made Carbon County history. They became the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license from the county and lawfully wed.
They spoke their vows in the Price Peace Garden at 7:30 p.m. Shawna Popejoy officiated and Tyson Chappell was the wedding photographer.
"December 23 was actually our fourth anniversary," Annalee said Monday. They had been partners that long, so the decision was not a spur-of-the moment thing, she explained.
"Marriage isn't something you do just because you can," she stated. "It's all about love."
Annalee said the Peace Garden was ideal for the night wedding. The site provided lights and Christmas music for the affair.
She added that she and Rickelle have received plenty of support from friends and well-wishers in the community. But basically, "We aren't out to change anybody's opinion," she added.
Annalee said the marriage rights issue is in some ways "a parallel journey" with the racial civil rights struggle that began in this country more than a half century ago.
Since the Howland-Limb wedding, one male couple from out of the county and a female couple from Helper have also gotten licenses.
The licenses, which are three of the five listed in today's paper, came after advice from County Attorney Gene Strate to the County Clerk/Auditor. In an in-house memorandum, Strate advised the clerk's office to issue the licenses as long as the applicants meet all the other state and county requirements.
The county suspended the requirement of "one man and one woman" in the wake of Federal District Judge Robert J. Shelby's ruling that Utah's restriction on same-sex unions was unconstitutional. The judge denied the state's request for a stay. The state has appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, but that court may not decide for several weeks or months.