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Frustration turned to elation Thursday as a dizzying legal wrangle ended with gay couples receiving marriage licenses in Las Vegas — the marriage capital of the world — and other cities across Nevada.
Couples cheered at the Las Vegas marriage license bureau when days of anticipation became reality after Clark County Clerk Diana Alba began granting same-sex partners the right to wed shortly after 5 p.m.
"It's amazing, this is it," said Theo Small as he stood next to his partner, Antioco Carillo, and looked down at their marriage license, the first issued in Las Vegas.
"We're walking on clouds," Carillo said. "This is unreal."
State Sen. Kelvin Atkinson wed Sherwood Howard shortly after gay couples began receiving marriage licenses.
About 430 miles north, a clerk in the Carson City marriage license office, Elizabeth Phelps, says Kristy Best and Wednesday Smith became the first same-sex couple in the state to get a license about 3 p.m. Thursday.
Their hopes of getting married had been in limbo since the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that gay couples' equal protection rights were violated by same-sex wedding bans in Nevada and Idaho, but clerks needed a trial court to issue an injunction enforcing the decision.That order came Thursday afternoon, not long after Alba apologized to five couples waiting to be married at the Las Vegas marriage license bureau, telling them, "Nobody is more frustrated than I am.”
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