Same-Sex Couples Don’t Waste Time to get License in Cranston

Aug 1, 2013

Same-sex couples are saying “I Do” and applying for marriage licenses across the state. Rhode Island and Minnesota are the 12th and 13th states in the country legalizing gay marriage.

Just minutes after the city clerk’s office opened, employees welcomed Cranston’s first same-sex couple seeking a license. “We opened at 8:30 so you’re our first customer,” said Cranston City Clerk Maria Wall. At 8:32 Karl Staatz and Royce Kilbourn walked into the clerk’s office with hands full of paperwork ready to get a marriage license. After 21 years together, they’re tying the knot next week.

Royce Kilbourn and Karl Staatz are the first to apply for a marriage license at Cranston City Hall.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

“We were anxious to get in and be the first in line, and I think we achieved that,” said Staatz. “We waited 21 years so two minutes was plenty of time,” added Kilbourn.

Besides a question on the form asking how many times they’ve already been married, and some reporters hovering nearby, the filing went off without a hitch.

No sooner had Staatz and Kilbourn finished their paperwork than Marti Rosenberg and her partner were climbing the stairs of city hall heading to the clerk’s office.

“This is just a great day to stop and say we love each other,” said Rosenberg, “and we’re going to get a piece of paper that’s going to let us get married.”

The Cranston city clerk said there were a handful of inquiries leading up to the law taking effect.

Outside, a hundred protestors gathered near Cranston City Hall to support gay couples, and shout down a hand full of out-of-state anti-gay protestors.

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