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Weber County offices shut down as same sex couples wait in line

OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) -- After announcing that it would open its doors to same sex couples hoping to get marriage licenses on Saturday, the Weber County Clerk's office unexpectedly shut its doors to hundreds of people waiting in line, citing security concerns.
OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) -- Citing confusion over its intentions and security concerns, the Weber County Clerk's Office shut its doors Saturday to same sex couples expecting to get marriage licenses the day after a federal judge ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.

Word quickly spread through social media on Saturday that Weber County would briefly open its doors from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., and hundreds of people lined up in Ogden by Saturday afternoon.

An ABC 4 crew member on the scene reported that the announcement came shortly before 2 p.m.

A letter from Weber County Clerk Ricky Hatch sent out to people waiting in line Saturday afternoon read in part:

"I intended to open the office on Saturday for logistical reasons -- in anticipation of a large volume of marriage applications on Monday. I did not anticipate the security requirements of opening the county building on Saturday and its impact on other tenants in the building. I have alsob been advised that opening the office for special circumnstances outside of normal business hours may violate equal protection provisions.

"I understand that this is an unprecedented circumstance, and we are doing our best to do the right thing in the right way. We will be fully staffed on Monday to meed the needs of our citizens."

The announcement came after a day filled with various counties turning people away as couples lined up in front of clerks' offices outside of normal operating hours.

On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled that Utah's Amendment 3, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman and was passed by a voter referendum in 2004, was unconstitutional. Almost immediately after the ruling, hundreds of same-sex couples swarmed county offices in Salt Lake City to get marriage certificates while weddings were performed in lobbies and hallways.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said he would direct the Utah Attorney General's Office to ask for an emergency stay on the ruling and that the state would appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Greg Jaboin and his fiance Steve Kachocki, of Salt Lake City, were in front of the Davis County Clerk's Office in Farmington Saturday morning when they were told the office wouldn't be open. They then drove down to Salt Lake City, where hundreds of people were married the evening before, to be told the same news. Finally, they drove up to Ogden after hearing that Weber County would be opening its doors. Jaboin said he and Kachocki planned to get married on Monday, but said he hoped an emergency stay on Shelby's ruling wouldn't put a stop to those plans.
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