Town Hall to Open on Sunday for Marriage License Processing

The office of the Town Clerk has been preparing for the day N.Y.'s marriage equality law takes effect.

Brookhaven town clerk Patricia Eddington's office will open Sunday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., allowing same sex couples to obtain marriage licenses the very day New York's new marriage equality law goes into effect.

The town has hired three staff members to work overtime, at a total cost of $300, to ensure the process goes smoothly, Eddington said. Two judges have offered their services to Brookhaven for those who want to waive the 24-hour waiting period before getting married.

Eddington said 31 couples are expected to apply for marriage licenses on Sunday. However, protestors are expected to show up at town hall as well.

"I understand there’s going to be security here because there have been phone calls from people who are not happy," she said.

Brookhaven's town clerk is the only municipal office in Suffolk that will be open Sunday.

The new law required the town to modify its marriage license paperwork, which used to require couples to circle "bride" or "groom" on the form. The form has been changed to give the option of circling "bride," "groom," or "spouse."

To apply for a marriage license the Town of Brookhaven requires each individual to bring two forms of identification, of which one must be either a birth certificate, baptismal papers from a church, or naturalization papers. The other form of identification can be an official photo ID card such as a license, passport, green card, or military ID. Marriage licenses cost $40.

The atmosphere in the office, Eddington said, has been uplifting and excited.

"My staff has been extremely happy and supportive and looking forward to performing these ceremonies or at least preparing the applications," she said. "They were very willing and able to offer their Sunday to do the overtime."

Judy Pepenella July 21, 2011 at 04:39 PM
This is an OUTRAGE: About 2 weeks ago Brookhaven Town officials announced that they would HAVE TO CUT AID to some summer youth programs geared towards at-risk youths. Newsday article 7/7/11 http://tinyurl.com/452qt3k. Brookhaven Town officials claim that DUE TO A REDUCTION IN STATE GRANT MONEY that led to the cuts. In other words, the Town says they don’t have enough money for the programs. A week later, the Town Clerk, Patricia Eddington, announces that, AT THE EXPENSE OF THE TAXPAYERS, she will open Town Hall on Sunday, July 24th to accommodate those wishing to get same-sex marriage licenses. Newsday 7/13/11 http://tinyurl.com/3nyxd2f So, our Town does NOT have the money for certain programs that HELP AT RISK KIDS, but they have the money to pay the overhead costs (OT salaries for clerks, judges, future pension costs, building costs, security, etc.) to open up Town Hall ON A SUNDAY? Why WASTE taxpayer monies when the offices are open the very next day? For no other reason than grab headlines by making the marriage licenses available on the day the law goes into effect. So let me understand this. Our Town is willing to SACRIFICE PROGRAMS TO HELP SAVE CHILDREN, but is ok with WASTING TAXPAYER money opening Town Hall on a Sunday? That’s just sad!!! The next time the Town cries that it’s not getting enough money from the Federal, State or County government, I hope all remember this irresponsible act. Judy Pepenella Patchogue, N.Y.
Matthew Tornetta July 21, 2011 at 05:36 PM
Right on Ms. Eddington, thank you and your staff for being so dedicated to your jobs. I and many people appreciate your time and effort.
prof mom July 22, 2011 at 12:09 AM
Bravo Ms. Eddington and staff!!!
Kev July 22, 2011 at 12:43 AM
Thank you Ms Eddington, for recognizing this historical moment in the struggle for equal rights.
Alicia Palifka July 25, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Everything Judy Pepenella said !!!
Zachary Baum July 25, 2011 at 09:01 PM
They did the right thing to open up on Sunday. Pat Eddinggton recognized the historical nature of NY's new policy on marriage. She sent a message that the Town of Brookhaven puts alot of emphasis on equality. The additional tax revenues from the people that move to Brookhaven because of its reputation as a leader on this issue will surely make up for any costs incurred by opening up for a few hours on Sunday. Brookhaven even received a mention in the New York Times for opening up on Sunday.


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