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"Tick-tock, tick-tock," Ward nervously said to Friedeman as printer issues snagged their application process at about 8:15 a.m. Monday morning.
But with license finally in hand, the couple literally sprinted across Washington Boulevard into the Hampton Inn and Suites, where they were wed, side-by-side with their two best friends.
In Salt Lake County, the threat of a stay hardly damped the mood. After 11:20 a.m., when word reached the office that Shelby had rejected a stay, a roar of approval reverberated through the halls. Every few minutes, smaller cheers rang out from the lobby, where more than 20 clergy members — many with rainbow scarves draping their shoulders — stood ready to marry anyone with a licence. The air was electric, buzzing with Christmas carols, flower petals and anticipation.
Among the same-sex couples that married in Salt Lake County were Brian Benington and Duane Jennings, who spoke some of their vows in Afrikaans to honor Benington’s South African heritage; Andrew Alisea and Sam Evans, who have two cats but no kids; Sydney Rowsey and Joanna Smith, who met decades ago in a college psychology class; Deb Anderson and P. J. Jennings who got together five years ago at a friend’s potluck in the park; and Heather and Jax Collins, who began sharing a last name after their ceremony in January 2012.
By midmorning in Weber County, there was just one quiet couple filling out an application in the clerk’s office. It was a far cry from hours earlier, when cheers had erupted every time a couple left the office with a marriage license in hand.
"They want their rights," Church had said of those crowding the halls. "They want their love recognized. It’s chaotic but it’s a joyful chaos."
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