BY JEFF ECKHOFF AND ABBY SIMONS
REGISTER STAFF WRITERS
August 31, 2007
The Polk County Recorder's office stopped accepting marriage license applications from same-sex couples around 11:30 a.m. today.
The move came shortly after Polk County Judge Robert Hanson agreed to suspend his Thursday ruling that overturned Iowa’s ban on same-sex marriages pending an appeal by the Polk County Attorney’s Office to the Iowa Supreme Court.
Polk County Recorder Julie Haggerty responded immediately by refusing to accept any more same-sex marriage license applications. County officials said 21 marriage licenses were issued before 11:30, most apparently to same-sex couples.
Haggerty said the same-sex couples likely will receive some sort of letter explaining why their license, which would have become valid next week under a mandatory three-business-day waiting period, now will not be accepted.
One couple, Tim McQuillan and Sean Fritz, both Iowa State University students, managed to complete the entire process — waiver, license and wedding — before Hanson again closed the door on same-sex nuptials in Iowa.
It’s not clear whether their marriage will remain legally valid.
“I have no idea what’s going to happen there,” Haggerty said. “As far as I’m concerned, they have a valid marriage certificate from the state of Iowa.”