NC sends gender-neutral marriage forms to counties

Janet White, left, and Hilary Sheaves hold their daughter Ellison and a copy of their marriage license on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 at the Durham County Register of Deeds office after exchanging wedding vows. White and Sheaves were among the first same-sex couples to legally marry and get marriage licenses from the government in Durham, N.C. since a federal judge on Friday lifted North Carolina's ban on same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/The Herald-Sun, Christine T. Nguyen) (AP/The Herald-Sun, Christine T. Nguyen)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina has sent gender-neutral marriage license applications to local officials following the end of the state’s gay marriage ban.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services emailed copies of the forms to county registers of deeds on Sunday with instructions to print them out on high-quality paper. The move came after a federal judge on Friday struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional.

Days before the ruling, officials in several counties had been pressing the state to distribute the forms in preparation for an expected surge of same-sex couples seeking to legally wed. The Republican administration of Gov. Pat McCrory, who supported the marriage ban, refused.

The state’s old forms had blanks only for “Groom” and “Bride.” The new forms say “Applicant 1″ and Applicant 2.”

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