Thursday, July 2, 2015

Knox Co. Clerk's Office to perform marriages only at downtown office

This apparently has some folks up in arms. I don't really think it's a big deal, but whatever.

Here ya go:

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision last week to overturn state bans on same-sex marriage, a number of county clerks across Tennessee have opted to stop performing marriages altogether.

That's not the case in Knox County, said Clerk Foster Arnett Jr. But couples – gay or straight – will now have to make an appointment, and only his downtown Main Street office will perform a marriage.

Arnett said he put the change in place because he expects more people to get married.

"It's not a big deal," he said. "It's going to help everybody."

For years, the Clerk's Office performed marriages in its various satellite offices, but Arnett said they're "slammed," so he opted to change the policy.

"Marriages are going to go up, in part, because there are Clerk's Offices that won't perform same-sex marriages, so to better serve the public, we will require everyone to call in and make a reservation to get married," Arnett said.

He added that couples can still pick up marriage applications at any satellite office.

"If you look at Davidson County in Nashville, they (perform marriages) one day a week at one location," he said. "All we're doing is trying to streamline our efforts. It will help us so we can plan. This is for everybody – not just same-sex couples."

The downtown clerk's office is located at the Old Courthouse, 300 Main St. It's opened from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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