It’s Official ! Gay Couples Can Get Married in California!


 

According to the Associated Press – Dozens of gay couples were married Monday night after California became the second state to allow same-sex nuptials, offering a preview of the euphoria and anger to come as gay couples from across the nation head west to wed.


At least five county clerks around the state extended their hours to honor specific couples or to mark the historic occasion, and many couples exchanged vows on the spot. The May 15 California Supreme Court order overturning bans on same-sex marriage became final at 5:01 p.m.


“I never thought I’d see this,” Michael Groark, 61, said at a San Francisco sports bar, watching on television as Mayor Gavin Newsom officiated the first same-sex wedding in the city. Newsom  helped launch the series of lawsuits that led the court to strike down California’s one-man-one-woman marriage laws.


A  big rush to the altar was expected today, when most counties planned to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of couples nationwide are expected to seize the opportunity to make their unions official in the eyes of the law.



Groups that oppose same-sex marriage have pursued several legal avenues to stop the weddings, including asking the California Supreme Court to postpone its decision until after the November initiative. The high court denied that request.



In Sonoma County, Melanie Phoenix, 47, and Terry Robinson, 48, were first in line to get a license. Together for almost 26 years, they plan to wed in August.


“It’s a historic occasion,” Phoenix said. “I never believed it was really possible until Gavin Newsom took the first step in 2004.”



Unlike Massachusetts, which legalized gay marriage in 2004, California has no residency requirement for marriage licenses, and that is expected to draw a great number of out-of-state couples. The turnout could also be boosted by New York state’s recent announcement that it will recognize gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions. Gov. David A. Paterson has directed all state agencies to begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like Massachusetts, California and Canada.


A UCLA study issued last week estimated that half of California’s more than 100,000 same-sex couples will get married over the next three years, and 68,000 more out-of-state couples will travel here to exchange vows.



GOOD TIMES WE ARE LIVING IN!

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