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Chaplain, Santa In Houston Help Homeless Couple Tie The Knot

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File photo of santa.(credit: Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

File photo of santa.(credit: Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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HOUSTON (AP) — A law enforcement minister and Santa Claus have helped a homeless couple in Houston tie the knot without having to pay a $40 fee.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office says Chaplain Virginia Howell performed the marriage ceremony Friday outside the agency’s dispatch center.

Howell and Santa had just visited with dispatchers and handed out holiday treats. While leaving they ran into a couple with a baby — who asked to have a photo taken with Santa.

Authorities say the man and the woman, who live at a shelter, were trying to find someone to marry them for free. They had been quoted a $40 fee to have the ceremony performed at a courthouse.

Howell married them on the spot, with Santa and some dispatch personnel summoned to serve as witnesses.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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