Partial government shutdown prevents couple from getting marriage license in DC

Like rain on your wedding day, the ongoing partial government shutdown proved to be an ironic twist of fate for two former Senate staffers who tied the knot over the weekend.

Danielle Geanacopoulos and Dan Pollock headed to the D.C. Superior Court on Dec. 27 – just a few days before their wedding – to obtain a marriage license, according to WNBC-TV. But with the government shuttered, the couple was denied.

“We showed up and asked which way to the marriage bureau, and the guy said, ‘You’re not going anywhere,” Pollock recalled. “So we asked some more questions – it turns out no one is getting a marriage license during the shutdown.”

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The government has remained partially shuttered since before Christmas with President Trump and Democrats seemingly at an impasse over funding for the border wall. Trump has vowed the shutdown will go on for “as long as it takes” as he’s demanded $5 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We couldn't stop laughing as two former Democratic staffers whose wedding was put on hold by Trump.” 

— Danielle Geanacopoulos

“Thank you [Trump] for the #TrumpShutdown,” Pollock said with a picture on social media. “Thanks to you, the DC marriage bureau is furloughed the week of our wedding. Please stay in Iraq. Sincerely, unwed former public servants.”

He also tagged the photo with the creative hashtag #MyBigFakeGreekWedding.

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Geanacopoulos and Pollock used to work for Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and have experience with government shutdowns, the pair told BuzzFeed News. Geanacopoulos also formerly worked for Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

“We've been furloughed I think twice in our time in the Senate years ago, so we’re pretty familiar with what gets funded and what doesn’t,” Pollock said. “It never occurred to either of us.”

“We couldn't stop laughing as two former Democratic staffers whose wedding was put on hold by Trump,” Geanacopoulos said.

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Geanacopoulos also shared a photo of the couple on their wedding day, referencing their inability to obtain a marriage license.

“Can’t call it an official wedding until the [government] reopens, so until then, I leave you with this: we closed out 2018 with a really really really good party with those we love most. Thankful beyond measure to enter 2019 with the love of my life and brand new husband,” she said.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office said she plans to “put forth emergency legislation to establish the authority to issue marriage licenses during a shutdown,” WNBC reported.

“Just like the Grinch can’t steal Christmas, the shutdown can’t stop love,” the statement read.

But as BuzzFeed News pointed out, couples wishing to split up are able to still file for divorce during the shutdown as the Family Court is still open, albeit with limited staff.