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Same-sex couples line up for marriage licenses; GOP slams ruling

By Danielle Haynes
Same-sex couples line up for marriage licenses; GOP slams ruling
A newly married couple exits City Hall in San Francisco, June 26, 2015. The US Supreme Court's ruled gay marriage legal in all 50 states today. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- Courts across the United States began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples while Republican presidential hopefuls slammed Friday's historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage.

Until Friday, Texas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan all had bans on gay marriage.

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Upon hearing the news of the Supreme Court's ruling, though, same-sex couples in those states lined up at local courts to get married.

Within minutes of the ruling, 20 to 25 couples were lined up at the Travis County, Texas, County Clerk's office, and the first same-sex marriage license was issued in the state's capital about 11 a.m. Friday, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

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Farther north, though, in Denton Texas, the county clerk refused to provide a couple with a license, saying she first needed guidance from Denton County District Attorney Paul Johnson, the Denton Record-Chronical reported.

Denton is a northern suburb of Dallas, where the county clerk's office is already issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

In New Orleans, Michael Robinson and Earl Benjamin were the first in line to apply for a marriage license in the city after the ruling. Not many people were lined up at the clerk's office, though, The New Orleans Advocate reported.

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As these marriages took place, the American Civil Liberties Union applauded the Supreme Court Decision.

"The Supreme Court today welcomed same-sex couples fully into the American family. Gay and lesbian couples and our families may be at peace knowing that our simple request to be treated like everyone else -- that is, to be able to participate in the dignity of marriage -- has finally been granted," said James Esseks, director of the ACLU's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV Project. "Today's historic victory comes on the backs of same-sex couples and advocates who have worked for decades to dismantle harmful stereotypes and unjust laws in the quest for equal treatment."

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero compared Obergefell vs. Hodges to Brown vs. Board of Education, calling it "one of the landmark civil rights moments of our time."

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Meanwhile, several Republican presidential hopefuls issued statements condemning the ruling, though some were arguably more moderate in their responses compared to Thursday's Obamacare ruling.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that he believes in traditional marriage and that the decision of same-sex marriage should be left up to the states.

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"I also believe that we should love our neighbor and respect others, including those making lifetime commitments," he said in a statement. "In a country as diverse as ours, good people who have opposing views should be able to live side by side.  It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom and the right of conscience and also not discriminate."

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Rick Santorum said the Supreme Court has an imperfect record and that the "stakes are too high to cede marriage to unelected judges."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal used harsher language in his disagreement with the ruling, saying marriage between and man and a woman "was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.

"The decision will pave the way for an all-out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision," he said.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, for the second day in a row, called the Supreme Court's action an example of "judicial tyranny."

"The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do -- redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat," he said.

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On the Democrats' side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shared pride flag images on her Twitter account.

"Proud to celebrate a history victory for marriage equality -- & the courage & determination of LGBT Americans who made it possible," she tweeted.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who is challenging Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, repeated the words written on the Supreme Court building.

"Today the Supreme Court fulfilled the words engraved upon its building: 'Equal justice under law,'" he tweeted.

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