Same-sex couples can now receive marriage licenses, but few have

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MID-MISSOURI - Most mid-Missouri counties could issue same-sex couples marriage licenses on Monday, but few couples have sought them.

Out of fourteen counties KOMU 8 News contacted, only the Boone County Recorder of Deed's Office actually did.

The office issued one marriage license to a same-sex couple Monday and six licenses on Friday, following the Supreme Court's announcement that same-sex marriage is now legal.

The following counties have the capability to issue same-sex couples marriage licenses, but haven't distributed one yet:

  • Callaway
  • Cole
  • Cooper
  • Howard
  • Osage
  • Miller
  • Morgan
  • Pettis
  • Monroe
  • Gasconade
  • Randolph

As of Monday, the only counties that are not issuing licenses that KOMU 8 News contacted are Audrain and Maries. The Audrain County Recorder of Deed's Office said it is waiting for a computer software update.

"I could fill it out by hand, but I can't give it a number," Audrain County Recorder Janis Deimeke said. "They'd still need to be here for the signatures, which when I print it out -- that's in the program that's on the computer. And I don't want them to have to come in again."

Pettis County hasn't updated its software yet, but will write a license by hand if a same-sex couple seeks one before the infrastructure change. But Deimeke said she doesn't want to take the risk.
"I want to make sure that its done correctly because I don't want that chance of us sending it in and it not being correct for the state," Deimeke said. "And if someone comes in, I'll take their name and phone number and I'll give them a call when we are ready to go."

She said she expects the department will start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples around July 8. 

The Maries County Recorder of Deed's Office released a statement which stated it will start issuing same-sex marriage licenses on July 20. It also stated: "While we recognize the issue of same sex marriage may be uncomfortable for some in our community, the Office of the Recorder has consistently held itself to the highest standard of professionalism and constituent responsiveness. Our responsibilities require us to follow the law expeditiously and with care. Therefore, We are recommending to all Recorders they review their current procedures related to the issuance of marriage licenses in the context of the Supreme Court's ruling and act accordingly."

The Recorders' Association of Missouri says offices have 25 days to implement the change.