Officiant to Waive Fee for First Same-Sex Couples He Marries

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Same-sex couples in the commonwealth are celebrating after a federal appeals court denied a request to delay its ruling striking down the state's same-sex marriage ban.

Now, people in Charlottesville are preparing for a day that could go down in history books as early as next week. If the U.S. Supreme Court does not intervene, same-sex couples could get married as soon as next Wednesday. The news has a former Charlottesville politician eager to be a part of history.

Dave Norris, a former Charlottesville politician and now marriage officiant, was thrilled when he heard Wednesday's decision. "It seems like we're closer than ever to having marriage equality in Virginia,” he said.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will not delay the decision to make same-sex marriage legal in the commonwealth. So Norris took to Facebook, announcing he plans to waive his fees for the first five same-sex couples he marries.

"I think this is a great thing and it's going to impact a lot of people that I care deeply about, friends and family members who will finally have a chance to marry the person they love and that's a beautiful thing,” Norris said.

That day will be one for the history books in the commonwealth and could come as soon as August 20 if the U.S. Supreme Court doesn't step in.

Word of the ruling also has the Charlottesville Circuit Court clerk's Office scrambling. Clerk Llezelle Dugger says she was flooded with inquiries from couples Wednesday asking when they can tie the knot. Dugger says her office is also working on changing the marriage certificates because right now they say “bride and groom.”

Norris says even if the Supreme Court does intervene, it's still a step in the right direction.

"I think that's a big step for our commonwealth. It's a big step for our citizens, it’s a big step for the cause of equality and justice in our state,” he said.

To contact Norris, visit his website.

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