It will be a happy beginning to the new year for some same-sex couples in Maryland. Attorney General Doug Gansler will allow local courts to issue marriage licenses beginning on Dec. 6. However, those licenses will not take effect until Jan. 1. Each separate county clerk has the choice of either accepting applications on Dec 6. for same- sex marriages or waiting until Jan. 2. Wicomico County's Clerk of Court Mark Bowen said that he has decided to begin taking those applications on Thursday. "Part of my reasoning is that the intent of the law was to allow same sex couples to marry on Jan. 1, 2013, and the only way to accomplish that is taking applications before that date," Bowen explained. "I'm expecting some people from Delaware may come down. I believe Delaware presently has a civil union and that was addressed in the attorney general's opinion as well. And the opinion said that anyone in a civil union can get married in Maryland."