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First Same-Sex Couple Weds at Harford County Courthouse

The Civil Marriage Protection Act took effect in Maryland Jan. 1, 2013.

One same-sex couple wed in Harford County Circuit Court on Jan. 2, according to Clerk James Reilly.

David Wilhelm and Casey Annon were married at 1 p.m. in Bel Air, Reilly said, on the first day the courthouse was performing same-sex ceremonies.

The Civil Marriage Protection Act took effect officially on Jan. 1, after Maryland voters upheld the law legalizing same-sex marriage in November.

Since state offices were closed for New Year's Day, Wednesday was the first time couples could marry inside the Harford County courthouse.

At least one other same-sex couple has married in Harford County. Havre de Grace City Councilman Joseph Smith and Havre de Grace native Don Starr wed in a Jan. 1 ceremony.

Smith and Starr obtained their marriage license from the Harford County Circuit Court last month after Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said officials could issue the licenses in advance, noting the effective date as Jan. 1, since offices would be closed for the holiday.

Harford County has had eight applicants for same-sex marriage licenses since it began accepting applications on Dec. 12, Reilly said Jan. 2.

As circuit courts across Maryland prepare for the first same-sex couples to wed, some public employees have pushed back. Deputy clerks in St. Mary's County have asked to be excused, citing their religious opposition to same-sex marriage, according to The Washington Examiner.

In Harford County, Reilly said there has not been any issue at the Circuit Court.

Said Reilly: "My staff and I are here to serve the public as the law requires."

Annapolis Patch editor Anna Staver contributed.

Casey January 06, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Dale - God loves all of His children, gay and straight. The Bible does not condemn homosexuality when it is put in historical and cultural context and is read using reason, as Jesus did.
Ed Baranowski January 06, 2013 at 08:42 PM
My best wishes to all the couples! We are ALL made in the image and likeness of God! As a 60 year old who is happily married, I respect people's dignity and their right to have a fluent life in this country. I have spent some time in the gay/lesbian/bi/transgender community in Rehoboth Beach, DE. I told my gay friend that I'm amazed how that community accepted me regardless I was happily married to my wife. They never downed me or persecuted my different beliefs on same sex marriage. We had intelligent subjective discussions on the subject. There are quite a few of older gay/lesbian couples who have been together longer than some heterosexual relationships. I never felt more accepted in their community and was treated the same as they wished to be treated. We are talking about human beings who want the best of happiness in their lives just like the heterosexual community. Again, all the best to ANY married couple and I hope they find peace, happiness, and fulfillment in their lives.
Nick January 06, 2013 at 10:00 PM
@CB9678 Why even waste your time with this extreme zealot? You will never change her mind. When you work for the state you have to follow the law of the state. If you don't like it you forfeit your job. That she can't or won't see that just proves how stupid some people can be. Save your time and energy for someone who can engage in meaningful discussion.
AllStar January 07, 2013 at 04:50 AM
Great nations throughout history have fallen after perverse behavior became commonplace and accepted in their societies. Communists have been trying to get the American public to accept homosexuality in order to tear apart the family unit and weaken our Christian influence for decades. Jesus is clear in the Gospels about marriage only being between a man and woman. St. Paul warns us against the darkness and evils of homosexuality. As Christians, our faith and values should drive the policies which we wish to live under. There are very dangerous sequelae that will inevitably result from this one amendment. Religious institutions and priests will eventually lose their freedoms. Already, private business owners (e.g. cake company or photographers) cannot turn away homosexual couples on religious grounds or face lawsuits. There is much worse to come.
AllStar January 07, 2013 at 04:53 AM
Cassie, you must learn the definition of equality. Man + man is not equal to man + woman. Only one is ordained by God, by history, and by nature.
AllStar January 07, 2013 at 04:54 AM
Sodomy is disgusting either way!
AllStar January 07, 2013 at 04:55 AM
Casey, you clearly need to reread the Gospels!
AllStar January 07, 2013 at 04:57 AM
So you compare most Christians to the Westboro Baptist Church freaks...you are incredibly biased against Christianity my friend. Read the New Testament and pray for enlightenment.
AllStar January 07, 2013 at 05:02 AM
One can love homosexuals without approving of homosexual marriage! The only true happiness is found in the next life.
AllStar January 07, 2013 at 05:02 AM
Homosexuality is a behavior not a race!
AllStar January 07, 2013 at 05:05 AM
That works until the government takes control of the private sector and creates laws to regulate private businesses, including preventing pharmacists from refusing to fill plan b (which has been proven to cause abortions in some cases).
Sal January 07, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Terry, did you ever notice when a far left liberal is disagreed with, they become name callers, condescending and critical in a lowly manner? Gay marriage is not a traditional marriage, it is a partnership, although the law says different. I would like to know in a so called gay marriage who is the husband and who is the wife and who decides? Also in a traditional marriage there is procreation and please don't tell me about adoption and invitrio whatever. This is another great example of our lowering of morals and values like in the Fall of Rome. they say if you don't learn from history, you will live to repeat history and I am sorry to say that is what we are doing. One question, and I don't mean to be critical or sarcastic, things lke this you used to be called queer; where did gay come into this? Sal
Sal January 07, 2013 at 03:01 PM
AMEN, Sal
CB9678 January 07, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Nick I figured she was simply a troll when she resorted to personal attacks instead of debating the merit of the point. Her inability to reply after that has further demonstrated that!
CB9678 January 07, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Yes All-star but the State of Maryland is neither of those things! To clarify I am a praccticing Catholic and I find Homosexuality to be a practice not consistent with my religion. I also do not find state sanctioning of Marriage to be consistent with my faith. If you get married in a civil ceremony I do not, and my faith does not recognize your marriage in a religious context. Because of that the only benefit to a civil marriage is simply a tax basis.. That is why I find the religious arguement to be a moot point!
CB9678 January 07, 2013 at 03:49 PM
No he is pointing out the wide variation in religious beliefs among Christians including those who recognize same sex marriages and even perform them!
CB9678 January 07, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Allstar can you please provide examples of the great nations who fell because of preverse behavior? Can you also please cite the part of the Communist structure which has advocated for an acceptance of Homosexuality? Where in the gospel does Jesus clearly define marriage. I will admit that St. Paul does define marriage ithat way but Jesus does not! If you are going to thump on your Bible stop mis quoting it least you meet the fate of the warning provided at the end of Revalations! BTW the two buisnesses you cite provide public accomadations and we have laws about that. If a homosexual couple wanted to celebrate an anniversary of them dating before they where not free to decline it on the homosexual basis. What should change? Should hotels refuse rooms to an interracial couple on religious grounds?
Casey January 07, 2013 at 05:29 PM
AllStar - Jesus never spoke about homosexuality. I stand by my statement that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality when it is put in historical and cultural context and is read using reason, as Jesus did. If you disagree, please cite a verse.
Casey January 07, 2013 at 05:34 PM
AllStar - God is the author of all love. Who are you to call the love between 2 people of the same gender "perverse?" Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, but he did speak about not judging others. Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged."
Sal January 07, 2013 at 07:08 PM
I can't believe the rational and or logic used to defend gay marriage
Casey January 07, 2013 at 08:20 PM
AllStar - Homosexuality is a sexual orientation, not a behavior.
Casey January 07, 2013 at 08:28 PM
Sal - In most gay marriages I have seen, the typical roles of husband and wife do not apply. That does not mean it is less of a marriage, it is just different. As for procreation, there are many heterosexual couples who cannot procreate. Should they not be allowed to get married?
Casey January 07, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Sal - I can't believe the rationale or logic used to DENY gay marriage.
AllStar January 08, 2013 at 04:56 AM
Jesus talks about marriage in the Gospel of Matthew! "Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Matthew 19:3-6
AllStar January 08, 2013 at 05:01 AM
Unfortunately Sal, these people no longer believe in absolute truths. They seek to justify their own behavior by blurring the line between right and wrong.
AllStar January 08, 2013 at 05:13 AM
In response to CB: 1) e.g. The Roman Empire 2) Communist goal #26: Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy." (from the Naked Communist, 1963). 3) Refer to the passage above 4) Your definition of freedom is completely different than mine or of our founding fathers.
CB9678 January 08, 2013 at 04:25 PM
A few points this is also the same passage. "Matthew 19:3-6 King James Version (KJV) 3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." It never defines marriage it never even uses the word. It also is never limiting. of that. This discusses the permissability of Divorce. My final point is that even if we accept this as a biblical decree of a definition of marriage. When one files for a marriage liscence and goes to the court house you are not being joined by God. These people are not being joined by God.
CB9678 January 08, 2013 at 04:55 PM
1) The Roman Empire fell for many reasons. One has been listed as a moral decline. Christianity has also been cited as a reason for the fall of the Roman Empire. Does that mean that if a society embraces Christianity as the Roman Empire did it to is destined to fall? You said nations (plural) provide some more examples to support your claim. 2) The Naked Communist is not an objective annalysis of the goals of communism. Communism is an Economic philosophy. The author of this work also advocated to end the direct election of senators, remove the seperation of church and state, Thought Dwight Eisenhower was a communist, Claimed the US Elections from 1932-1968 where not legitimate, believed the Rockefellers conspired to rig the election of Jimmy Carter. In the book you cite he also Claims FDR delivered enriched Uranium to the USSR, Claimed Sputnik was hatched with stolen American plans, Claimed the Russians where implanting mind control divices to trigger pavlovian responses to take over the minds of the young. So consider the source. Finally I am not definning freedom but letting you know that in this state the law does not permit a public accomadation to descriminate in who it provides services to.
Casey January 08, 2013 at 08:24 PM
AllStar - Injustice and inequality are wrong = Absolute truth.
Xgay Greg February 07, 2013 at 09:02 PM
I used to be gay, but over SEVEN years ago Jesus set me FREE! I am now free from the sin of homosexuality. Marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman according to the King James Bible (Genesis 2:24) so I am now married and my wife is pregnant by me. What's really cool is that now my life is not focused on "ME" I actually think about other's. More to the point, it's not about "ME" at all it's ALL about JESUS CHRIST! Jesus is Lord!!

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