I decided to drop by the Pinellas County Clerk's office in St. Pete to check out the first same sex marriage license issuing in St. Petersburg. It was about 8:30 when I arrived and there was already a crowd waiting to see the Clerk.
The County Clerk's staff did an excellent job assisting those who were there seeking their marriage licenses. There were plenty of staff members on site and a special table set up in the hallway leading to the clerk's office to pass out forms, information and answer questions.
The demographics of the early morning crowd were interesting; older, more females than males. Many of the couples indicated they had been together 8, 10 and over 20 years.
When a reporter asked a couple why they were getting married, the answer was "this allows us to have the same legal opportunities as our married heterosexual friends, provides confidence in end of life issues, health care decisions, financial matters and reinforces our bonds as a couple."
It was poignant moment with smiles, laughter and more than a few tears of joy.
Most frequent comment of the morning, "I never thought I would see this day.
Ken Burke's staff deserves a great big thank you for providing a warm, friendly and thoughtful environment for those seeking their marriage licenses. More than once I saw a staff member with a misty eye as they helped couples complete a part of their life that many thought would never come.
Here in a photo gallery Same Sex Marriage Licenses are some of my impressions. I was deeply honored to be there.