More than 3,200 same-sex couples marry in Oklahoma in less than 3 months since became legal

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TULSA, Oklahoma — More than 3,200 marriage licenses have been issued in Oklahoma since they became available to same-sex couples in the state, according to the head of a gay advocacy group.

Marriage licenses have been issued in 23 of Oklahoma's 77 counties since Oct. 6, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to reconsider an Oklahoma judge's ruling that struck down the state's ban on gay marriage, the Tulsa World reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1IT7Ocr ).

About 2,200 marriage licenses have been issued in the state's two most populous counties, Oklahoma and Tulsa counties. Another spike has been in counties bordering Texas.

As soon as Oklahoma began issuing licenses to same-sex couples, advocacy groups had referrals for officiants, venues, photographers and other wedding-related businesses, said Toby Jenkins, executive director of Oklahomans for Equality.

"We always had a network where people can go to get information," Jenkins said. "We had a real strong infrastructure in place."

LeAnne Williams, who was hired to photograph the wedding reception for the first same-sex couple issued a license in Oklahoma, says she had several conversations with her son about working at such weddings would hurt their photography business. She said the family decided to seek out doing business with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples.

"I don't discuss my political views with clients," Williams said. "With something as big as this, I didn't want someone's opinion about this dictating my business practices. I see this as people getting married."

A professional photographer for 30 years, Williams said her company has worked five same-sex weddings and is booking a handful more.

"Usually, during this time of year, it's not wedding season," she said. "But my phone has been ringing off the hook and they've been same-sex couples. For them, every day is wedding season. It's been great."


Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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