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The old NYS marriage license form
Old marriage form
The new NYS marriage license form
New marriage form

About the only change you'll see on the new state marriage licenses is the wording switch shown above. No more is the left column for the "groom" and the right column for the "bride" – now the applying couple can be whichever they want, or just a "spouse."

Other than, marriage licenses remain the same, which is a relief to Batavia City Clerk Heidi Parker.

"We were concerned that we were going to get a separate form, for same-sex marriages...and for traditional marriage," Parker told WBTA this morning. "But they've combined everything; one form for no matter who comes in."

But so far, no one has come into Batavia's City Hall looking for a same-sex license. That's a stark contrast to other cities in New York, where offices are opening especially on Sunday to mark the first legal day same-sex couples can wed. In New York City, they're holding a lottery to see who can wed first; in Niagara Falls, a midnight ceremony has been planned on a rock in front of the rainbow-illuminated waterfall.

The City has received 50 new marriage license forms from the state, but Parker says there will be no special treatment in dealing with new same-sex applicants.

"Typically people just walk in. We don't make appointments for them," Parker explained today.

Regarding her job as City Clerk, Parker acknowledges that some of her colleagues across the state have quit their jobs to avoid having to certify same-sex marriages. And while she publicly withholds her own beliefs, she did say that civic duty should come before personal preference.

"I'm sure there's a lot of things that we do in our jobs on a daily basis, that we don't always agree with," Parker said. She pointed out the political side of her job, calling the roll on many legislative votes in City Council meetings.

"If I agree with all of them, great. If I don't, that's my personal thought," she said. "I don't think it's a reason to resign."

Same-sex couples wishing to be married can obtain their form at the Clerk’s office in Batavia City Centre, starting Monday morning.

 

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