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Marriages on hold in DC amid government shutdown — here's why

DC marriage bureau closed

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

The partial government shutdown is placing marriages on hold in the nation's capital.

Why is this happening?

The marriage bureau closed when the shutdown began Dec. 22. Since that day, no one in Washington, D.C., has been able to get a marriage license, according to WJLA-TV.

One couple, Dan Pollock and Danielle Geanacopoulos, decided to have their ceremony anyway, after they found out they couldn't get a license, WJLA reported. Geanacopoulos wore her white gown and veil, and Pollock wore his tux during the mock ceremony. They plan to return to the courthouse to make it official once the shutdown ends.

"When we showed up at the courthouse, they politely turned us away and said there would be no licenses until the government reopens," Pollock told WJLA-TV in D.C. "With no real other options (too short notice to get a license from VA), we chose to embrace the insanity."

"The entire wedding was a blast nonetheless, and I guess we'll be back in DC to make it official," he added. "While it might have been inconvenient for us, I think it's important for people to see some of the real effects of a shutdown."

The couple are both former Senate staffers who have lived through government shutdowns before, the TV station reported.

"It's easy to see the TSA running, police on duty, etc., and not really see that not only are citizens affected, but thousands and thousands of government employees who aren't really sure when the next paycheck will come," Pollock said.

D.C. courts posted an announcement on its website that indicates services are limited.

"The Committee on Admissions, Marriage Bureau, Library, and Child Care Center are closed during the government shutdown," the website states.

Is anything being done?

Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday evening that she plans to propose emergency legislation that would allow marriage licenses to be issued.

"Mayor Bowser will put forth emergency legislation to establish the authority to issue marriage licenses during a shutdown," John Falcicchio, Bowser's chief of staff, told the media. "Just like the Grinch can't steal Christmas, the shutdown can't stop love."

One last thing…
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