LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Angelina County Clerk's Office granted its first marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday morning.
The office handed out three licenses on Monday. This was the first day the office was able to hand out the licenses after the state had to make an amended marriage licenses to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 vote that legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states on June 26.
Brian Edmond and Paul La Fleur, who are not only relationship partners but also partners in their remodeling and painting business, were the first to receive a license.
"It's a good feeling," La Fluer said. "I'm glad it is here. We were going to do it we just didn't know where or when."
The couple was traveling to Austin on Friday when they got the word and for a brief moment thought about turning around.
"We did think about coming back, but decided to keep on going," Edmond said. "When we heard the clerk would start today, we decided to get here early."
The office is granting the licenses a day after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that county clerks in the state may exercise their religious freedom and not do so.
Thirty minutes after Edmond and La Fluer arrived at the office, a pair of women, Barbara Richert and Guyla Carlton, entered the office looking to receive a marriage license in Angelina County. The two have been a couple for the last 10 years.
"We have been denied these rights, our civil rights," Carlton said. "Now theses papers give us that. It's a wonderful day."
Both couples say it is a new day and that people need to accept what the court has ruled.
"Get over it. it's already done," Edmond said. "It's how it should have been a long time ago."
"They in time will realize they are on the wrong side of history, and that God loves us all," Carlton said.