Washtenaw County office to process same-sex marriage licenses Saturday

Clerk believes county will process 60 applications Saturday

WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – In a matter of hours, same-sex couples will be able to marry in Washtenaw County.

The office of the Washtenaw County Clerk will open its doors at 9 a.m. Saturday for Washtenaw County residents looking to apply for same-sex marriage licenses.

Washtenaw County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum believes his workers will be able to process 60 applications Saturday. They will have four clerks in the office to process the applications.

"The political and financial leaders of the county, the people who levy and allocate the taxes for the county strongly urged me to have my office open at least for sometime this weekend to accommodate people who wish to get married," said Kestenbaum.

County officials said the three-day rule is waived and Kestenbaum believes some of the applicants will have clergy with them to perform weddings.

It's possible that judges may be there to officiate at weddings, too, according to Kestenbaum.

For everyone else, Monday is the big day at the county clerk's office.

The law calls for a three-day waiting period after applying for a marriage license, but the county clerk has the right to waive the wait, which some intend to do.

Macomb County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh said her staff is ready.

"I have the been the county clerk for 21 years, so they know how to take marriage licenses and that's what they're going to do," said Sabaugh.

As much as there is excitement among same-sex couples who want to marry, there is also worry that they could be setting themselves up for disappointment Monday.

If an emergency stay request by the state Attorney General is granted, the county clerk will be forced to turn same-sex couples away.

"We will follow the law," said Sabaugh. "If the law says that it is the law we will do it, but if he issues a stay then we can not do it."

Local 4 learned Friday night that the office of the Oakland County Clerk will also be open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.