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Washington County prepares for same-sex marriage licenses

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government Cottage Grove,Minnesota 55016
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Washington County prepares for same-sex marriage licenses
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

With a few word changes and the deletion of an oath referring to a man and a woman, Washington County has prepared its same-sex marriage license.


The county will make available same-sex marriage license applications beginning Thursday, June 6, ahead of the state's Aug. 1 gay marriage legalization.

The marriage license application was modified in preparation for the change.

The former application referred to a bride and a groom, said Jennifer Wagenius, director of the county's Property Records and Taxpayer Services Department. The new marriage application refers to Applicant 1 and Applicant 2.

Also, an oath included on the old application that referred to one man and one woman was removed, Wagenius said.

The new state law, approved by the DFL-led Legislature and signed by Gov. Mark Dayton last month, goes into effect Thursday, Aug. 1.

There is a five-day waiting period for marriage licenses. Once an application is filed and processed, the license can be picked up at the county department's Stillwater office or mailed to the applicants. The updated Washington County marriage licenses will be available on the new law's first day.

"At this time our plan is to have regular hours and open at 8 a.m. on Aug. 1," Wagenius said.

Marriage licenses cost $115. There is a discounted rate of $40 if applicants have taken a marital education course, which are sometimes offered by churches or other groups, Wagenius said.

A license issued in Washington County applies in any Minnesota county.

Wagenius said no same-sex couples had inquired about Washington County's plans yet, but her office is prepared for the change.

"We've provided education to our staff and we're ready to answer phone calls," she said.

Scott Wente
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
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