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First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Plague

, , , , , | Right | CREDIT: SeaworthinessTrue988 | June 23, 2021

I work at a town hall, one of my tasks is issuing marriage licenses when health crisis restrictions ease up as they have.

Today, I have an appointment to issue a license. I grab my mask, sanitize my hands, grab the different documents, and head down to one of our rooms that’s big enough to have people standing six feet apart. Since the town hall’s doors are locked to avoid walk-ins, I have to meet them at the door. The woman has no mask; when I ask her to wear one, she says she is exempt, showing me a screenshot of a US exemption; we’re in Canada. We’re not allowed to ask for proof, so I just deal with it and pretend like she never showed me. I ask her to sanitize her hands. Again, she refuses.

Our process for a marriage license is to have them bring their application, any prior divorce or death certificates, and IDs. I ask if her partner is going to show up and she says yes, so we wait for about ten minutes. This puts the appointment a little late; we have thirty minutes for each appointment, and I have one in another room right after.

The woman’s partner arrives, we exchange pleasantries, and we get started. I’ve already checked their IDs and application by email, so I quickly recheck and write the info down. From there I get into the health-crisis-related questions.

Me: “1. Where is your wedding being held?”

Woman: “Inside the church at [Street].”

No big deal; we still allow church weddings if the group is smaller than ten people.

Me: “2. Will you be having a reception? If yes, where?”

Woman: “Yes, at [Banquet Hall].”

Red flags are sailing, so I ask the third question.

Me: “3. How big is the group attending?”

Woman: *All giddy* “Well, for my group there are about ninety-three guests, and on his side, there will be eighty or so. We have more coming to the reception. I think in total there will be 200 people or so.

I look up at her from the license. I look to the guy and then back at her.

Me: “I can’t issue a license for a gathering that large. Indoor gatherings must have fewer than ten people, including the couple and the officiant. Outdoor gatherings can have up to thirty, including the couple and officiant.”

The woman immediately flips out.

Woman: “You’re infringing my right to get married! [Health Crisis] is just a scam. It has a 99.9% survival rate! I should be allowed to get married! I’ve been planning this for three months and already paid for all the food and everything!”

I try to deescalate, telling her I can’t give her the license because it’s against the law. I hand her a pamphlet with [Health Crisis]-safe marriage information and start to walk them out. She’s still throwing a tantrum. She demands to speak to my manager, so I call her down.

My manager was already busy dealing with other stuff, so she isn’t in the best mood. The woman says I was belligerent, called her names, didn’t accept she wouldn’t wear a mask, etc.

Manager: “Well, why don’t I pull up the footage and we can take a look?”

The woman flips out even more, saying the same stuff as before. My manager is done with this.

Manager: “No clerk in [City] will issue a marriage license in this situation because it is against the law. We need to write down how many people will be at the celebration. You then have to post the green paper outside the venue and an officer may or may not drop in. If we are found to have issued a license and there are more people present, you will be fined. The clerk will no longer be able to give licenses and we will be in a lot of trouble. As you told the clerk, you have only planned this for three months. That means you’ve had enough time to know it’s a health crisis. Because of your attitude to my clerk, we will no longer be accepting any appointments for you or your partner. As far as I’m concerned, you are banned.”

She then took the application, stamped “Rejected” on it, and took it with her.

We ended up having to call security to escort them out of the building. Oh, and as for her partner, he did nothing. He literally sat in the chair and did nothing. But at least he wore a mask.

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