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."