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 Same-Sex Marriages Begin In California

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Lawless

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PostSubject: Same-Sex Marriages Begin In California   Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:21 pm

California Second State To Legalize Same-Sex Marriages

POSTED: 5:04 pm PDT June 16, 2008
UPDATED: 10:20 pm PDT June 16, 2008


WOODLAND, Calif. -- Dozens of gay couples were married Monday after a landmark ruling making California the second state to allow same-sex nuptials went into effect.

One of those ceremonies included the wedding of Shelly Bailes and Ellen Pontac who tied the knot at 5:05 p.m. at the Yolo County Courthouse after a 34-year engagement.

"I've done this a million times in my mind, but it was not anything like I imagined," Bailes said. "It was so wonderful and touched with emotion."

Bailes and Pontac were one of 10 to 12 couples who took their vows Monday night at the Yolo County Clerk Recorder's Office and issued a gender-neutral marriage license that read parties "A and B" instead of "bride and groom."

"It just means the world to me," Pontac said. "We have been fighting for equality for our right to marry like everyone else for so many years."
Same-sex couples were allowed to legally marry starting at 5:01 p.m. Monday because of a May 15 ruling by the California Supreme Court overturning bans on gay marriage.

"These are not folks who just met each other last week and said, `Let's get married.' These are folks who have been together in some cases for decades," said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The really big rush to the altar was not expected to take place until Tuesday, which is when most counties planned to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of couples from around the country are expected to seize the opportunity to make their unions official in the eyes of the law.


San Francisco Mayor Presides Over Wedding


In San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom, who helped launch the series of lawsuits that led the court to strike down California's one-man-one-woman marriage laws, presided at the wedding of Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 84.

Newsom picked the couple for the only ceremony in City Hall Monday in recognition of their long relationship and their status as pioneers of the gay rights movement.

More than 600 same-sex couples have made appointments to get marriage licenses in San Francisco over the next 10 days.

Martin sat in her wheelchair during the ceremony in Newsom's office, which was open to a few elected officials, reporters and friends.

Meanwhile outside City Hall, a crowd of well-wishers gathered to wish the happy couple congratulations.

A handful of people opposed to gay marriage were also there. Some held signs with statements including "Jesus said go and sin no more."

After the mayor pronounced them "spouses for life," the couple kissed, drawing huge applause.

Newsom called officiating the wedding "this extraordinary and humbling gift."

In February 2004, Newsom decided to challenge California's marriage laws by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In the month that followed, more than 4,000 same-sex couples were married before a judge acting on petitions brought by gay marriage opponents halted the city's spree.

The state Supreme Court ultimately voided those unions, but two dozen couples sued and those lawsuits led the same court last month to overturn California's ban on gay marriage.

Just hours before the ruling went into effect, a conservative legal group asked a Sacramento court to order the California agency that oversees marriages to stop issuing gender-neutral marriage licenses.


Marriage Debate Rages On

Gary Kreep of the San Diego County-based United States Justice Foundation said his group filed a petition on behalf of five county supervisors from Yuba, Stanislaus, Nevada and Sutter counties.

The petition argues the state Department of Public Health failed to hold legally required public hearings on the licenses and claims legislators must amend state marriage laws before the licenses are valid.

A hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.

At the Yolo County Courthouse shouts of "marriage is between a man and woman," could be heard, but police said most of the protests were peaceful.

Also Monday, a conservative Christian law firm and a church joined in faxing letters to county clerk offices Monday, telling them that they do not have to do work related to same-sex marriages if it violates their religious beliefs.

Opponents of gay marriage said they hope a ballot measure this fall will overturn the legalization of same-sex marriage.

But the threat of making same-sex marriage illegal again won't stop the more than 100 couples that have appointments to get their marriage licenses Tuesday in Sacramento County, and Bailes said the threat won't stop her from enjoying her wedding day.

"Why would they take this away from me? Look how happy I am," Bailes said. "Why should anybody take this away?"

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Lawless

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PostSubject: Re: Same-Sex Marriages Begin In California   Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:24 pm

Personally, this is a WONDERFUL day. A day to celebrate equality. Will it last? I fear not. I fear that the Nov 4 elections will cause this to be a short-lived victory. But, it IS a victory none-the-less.

It's about time that we are starting to see that people, no matter who you are, are treated as equals. To be able to marry that man or woman that you love, because it's now legal... WOW! I prayed for this day to happen, and it finally has.

My mom is going, with a group from our church, today... to the County Administrative Building, to support a gay couple from our church. Barry and Michael have been together for several years, and they are being married, tomorrow, at our church. What a joyous occasion.

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PostSubject: Re: Same-Sex Marriages Begin In California   Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:28 pm

There's some conservitive group that was trying to get it banned again, but basically everybody involved has said their methods were nonsensical. Like their ideology itself. BURN!

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PostSubject: Re: Same-Sex Marriages Begin In California   Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:28 pm

Unfortunately, when it is put on the ballot, in November, it will most likely be passed, again, and we will be back to square one, without the right to marry.

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HECK!

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PostSubject: Re: Same-Sex Marriages Begin In California   Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:03 am

Man, it sure is gay in Cali today!

Hell, good for them. Tons of the gay are now one big gay happy family. I think it's cool.

Why should only strait people hate the person they're married too? Heh.

Truthfully, good times.

-HECK!

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PostSubject: Re: Same-Sex Marriages Begin In California   Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:06 am

Lawless wrote:
A day to celebrate equality.

Equality? I hear that word I think of race relations. I mean, can I use the womens room at a restaurant? Can I play in the WNBA? Can a Canadian born citizen be president? Can a dog wear a hat in public?

Exactly.

-HECK!

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PostSubject: Re: Same-Sex Marriages Begin In California   Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:08 pm

HECK! wrote:


Why should only strait people hate the person they're married too? Heh.

Truthfully, good times.

-HECK!

ROFLMAO!!! Tell it like it is Heck, truer words were never spoken.
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