- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - More same-sex couples arrived at West Virginia courthouses Friday to apply for marriage licenses.

In Monongalia County, the first marriage license issued to a same-sex couple went to Tom Hill and Zach Milligan of Fairmont. They met while attending West Virginia University eight years ago.

Hill said it is their “duty to legally marry” and to support the nationwide movement to allow same sex couples to marry. Hill said “the fight’s still not over,” referring to states that have not yet made same-sex marriage legal. Gay couples in West Virginia are receiving marriage licenses after the attorney general dropped his fight against same-sex unions.

Hill, 32, is a mental health counselor at Fairmont State University. The 27-year-old Milligan is a hematologist at Fairmont General Hospital.

In Kanawha County, Family Court Judge Mike Kelly performed a civil marriage ceremony for a St. Albans same-sex couple Friday, The Charleston Gazette reported. A call to Kelly’s office wasn’t immediately returned.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said Thursday that his office will no longer defend the state’s ban on same-sex marriages. Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in July that struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriages. The appeals court also has jurisdiction over West Virginia.

On Thursday, two same-sex couples applied for marriage licenses in Cabell County, and two others applied in Kanawha County.

Three of the four couples are plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit that challenged the state’s ban on gay marriage. The lawsuit named the state and the clerks in Cabell and Kanawha counties. A judge has yet to rule in the lawsuit.

After Morrisey’s announcement, state registrar Gary Thompson sent a letter to clerks in all 55 West Virginia counties announcing new protocols for marriage licenses. The new certificates will address people applying to get married as Party A and Party B, the letter said.

“I’m all for the change,” said Ohio County clerk Patricia A. Fahey.

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