First same-sex marriages performed, licenses issued in Hamilton - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

First same-sex marriages performed, licenses issued in Hamilton County

A same-sex couple fills out the application downtown (Source: Ben Katko, FOX19 NOW) A same-sex couple fills out the application downtown (Source: Ben Katko, FOX19 NOW)
Judge Bernie Bouchard now performing what's believed to be first same-sex marriage in Hamilton County. (Source: Ben Katko, FOX19 NOW) Judge Bernie Bouchard now performing what's believed to be first same-sex marriage in Hamilton County. (Source: Ben Katko, FOX19 NOW)
Judge Bouchard performing second same-sex marriage of the day in Hamilton County. (Source: Ben Katko, FOX19 NOW) Judge Bouchard performing second same-sex marriage of the day in Hamilton County. (Source: Ben Katko, FOX19 NOW)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriages, local couples started filing for their marriages.

"I'm completely overwhelmed right now,” said Bennett Stewart, who married his now-husband in a ceremony at the Hamilton County Courthouse on Friday afternoon.

Stewart and Jacob Tuma have been engaged for a bit longer than a year.

"Finally we're on the right side of history with the rest of the world it seems like,” Tuma said.

Friday was a new milestone in their relationship. They became the first same-sex couple married in Hamilton County, followed by another couple.

“As far as I know, these were the first two same-sex couple marriages in Hamilton County,” said Judge Bernie Bouchard, who performed the ceremonies in his courtroom on Friday. “We knew this might be coming down, and I was kind of surprised at the ruling, but that's the law of the land now. The Supreme Court has ruled, and part of my judicial responsibility is to follow the law. That's what we did today.”

"We really can make a commitment, and it's a legal commitment to each other,” Stewart said after his marriage ceremony.

The second couple to wed was Lena Williams and Crystal Zimmer, who have been together for five years.

"We've been waiting. Finally. We've been waiting,” Williams said. “I hope we're accepted the same as a man and woman. That's all we want.”

For them, Friday was more than just a marriage.

"She's epileptic. This is going to help me with health issues because I've never had no rights to sign any paperwork. This is really going to help us,” Williams said.

The county started issuing marriage licenses with new applications just hours after the high court's decision came down.

"Everybody will be treated exactly the same that comes in and applies for a marriage license in Hamilton County,” said Vince Wallace, the Probate Court Administrator.

Among the first same-sex couples to fill out a marriage license application were Ethan Fletcher and Andrew Hickam.

"To see other couples who have equally been fighting and waiting a long time for this day, to see them in there with us, it really hammers down how historic this day is,” Hickam said.

Couples filing for a license are now on the clock. They now have 60 days to have a ceremony to make it official.

"I can't wait to marry this guy,” said Hickam's soon-to-be husband, Ethan Fletcher.

Another couple, Nevi Kotzeva and Maggie Best-Miller, have been together for close to five years. They filed for their marriage license in Hamilton County late Friday morning. For them, a trip to fill out the application was something that couldn't wait any longer.

“We weren't planning on doing this today. We were thinking about coming down on Monday, and then it just all kind of happened,” Best-Miller said.

Copyright 2015 WXIX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly