The total of weddings for the two days was a big whopping three. Well, three couples wanted to marry, two got married. One became my "why do I always get the crazies and the problems" couple.
Two couples were young, sweet, and in love. Nothing outstanding to write about. Just people that came to get married and left happy.
Couple three was from Morocco. He was in a good looking suit. She had on a tight slinky goldish mini dress with strappy gold heels. She was carrying a huge bouquet of flowers. The flowers looked more like a beauty queen than a bride. I was not sure how to the pronounce their names. I asked their names and the bride did the talking. Great blank stare from the groom. I asked him if I was saying his name correctly, nobody home. She answered. Do you see where this is going. He does not speak English.
I told the bride and the witness (who it seems they brought to translate) to not talk for the groom and NO body language allowed. I asked the groom a detailed question, no answer. He looked to the women for help. I told them I can not legally marry someone who can't understand me and I can't use their translator. We will refund their money for the ceremony. She wanted to know if we had a translator who spoke Arabic or French. I checked, no. They will need to find a minister, priest, shaman, judge, someone outside our building. They might accept the translator. She says she is a "divorced woman and can not marry in a religious ceremony".
The bride begins yelling that we are discriminating against them because they are Arabic. If we translate Chinese or Spanish we have to translate for them. Everyone should be able to get married. I told her yes, but they have to be able understand me and I have to understand them. She can get married, just not at the County Building.
She is still yelling, the boss of Vitals, M comes over to try to calm things down. M sees I am handling it OK and goes back to the desk. Then the woman who can only be married in a civil ceremony says,"This is just for immigration. We are going to do a religious ceremony with our families later." Did you hear what you said lady? You talked out of the other side of your mouth.
The bride is still upset and yelling. They have to get married today for immigration. That brings up lots of issues to me. Such as, they knew when his visa ran out, why wait until the day before to marry.
While the bride is yelling the translator is on the phone tracking down someone to marry the couple. I got the bride calmed down, the groom just sits there. He has a limited idea of what is going on. I walk them back to the clerk, N. N reprints the license, credits their credit card, gives them instructions for whomever marries them, and sends them out the door.
I think they finally understood why we couldn't do the ceremony. I can understand why they were upset. But do not yell at me like a banshee and tell me I am discriminating against you. I can only follow the rules for a legal civil marriage performed in a government building.