Clerks in Outagamie and Brown counties began accepting marriage license applications Monday morning, after a federal judge threw out the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage last Friday. Miriam Douglas and Ligia Rivera were the first couple to apply for a license at the Outagamie County Courthouse in Appleton. Douglas said the action means “the world” to the couple who have been together for 26 years. “I feel very proud,” she said.
“It’s rite of passage that everybody in society had expect for gay and lesbian couples, that we finally get,” Rivera said. “I’ve lived in Wisconsin for 21 years and I came out in Wisconsin, so it does mean more, makes me more completely integrated in this society here.”
A handful of couples were able to get waivers for the five-day waiting period to marry, although Douglas and Rivera were not able to get a waiver. Brown County was waiving the waiting period so couples could marry immediately.
“These are productive citizens. They are part of our community. They’re friends, they’re neighbors, they’re family,” said Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson. “They’re simply looking for the same recognition that their neighbors and families have. On human level, you can’t help but to be caught in the emotion.”