world

Gay, lesbian couples rush to get married in California

14 Comments

Gay and lesbian couples rushed for marriage licenses across California on Tuesday, one day after the first legally recognized same-sex weddings in the state.

While a handful of symbolic same-sex marriages took place in Los Angeles and San Francisco late Monday, licenses were not widely available to most gays and lesbians anxious to tie the knot until the next day.

County courthouses and clerks offices throughout California began issuing licenses from 8 a.m., and in Los Angeles many soon-to-be newlyweds queued overnight to beat the crush.

"We thought it was important to be part of such an historic event," said Bonni Million, who began lining up in Los Angeles late Monday with her partner Chelsea Thompson. "It's a pretty monumental day. It's changing history."

Analysts estimate that around 51,000 of the 102,000 same-sex couples living in California will wed over the next three years, with a further 67,500 couples from outside the state expected to marry during the same period.

The first tidal wave of marriages on Tuesday came after joyous scenes in Los Angeles and San Francisco on Monday, where two campaigning lesbian couples moments after gay marriages became legal in California at 5:01 p.m.

Robin Tyler and Diane Olson, whose court battle led to the California Supreme Court's historic decision to overturn the state ban on same-sex marriage last month exchanged vows on the step of Beverly Hills Courthouse.

At the same time in San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom officiated at the wedding of veteran campaigners Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 83, who exchanged vows after 56 years together.

Among those who obtained a marriage license on Tuesday were "Star Trek" star George Takei, who is planning to wed his long-time partner Brad Altman later this year.

Takei, 71, known to millions of fans as Mr Sulu, received his license in the Los Angeles district of West Hollywood, although the actor has said he does not plan to marry until September.

"I see before me people who personify love and commitment, people who are the personification of joy and celebration," Takei told a cheering crowd.

"Brad and I are going to get our marriage license today -- isn't that extraordinary? Isn't that wonderful? So congratulations to all of us and may equality live long and prosper," Takei said.

West Hollywood officials conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. to mark the start of licenses being issued in the gay enclave.

West Hollywood officials have set up six flower-bedecked "marriage cabanas" near the city clerk's office, to allow couples to exchange vows within minutes of collecting their wedding licenses.

Opponents of same-sex marriage are seeking to force the issue back onto the agenda and have succeeded in adding a proposition to Nov 4 election ballot papers calling for gay weddings to be banned once more.

Jeff Flint of ProtectMarriage.com, a proponent of the California Marriage Protection Act, said the amendment would "protect and define" marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

"When you start to change the definition of marriage, as not between a man and a woman but any two adults, it undermines the institution," Flint said.

A smattering of placard-carrying protesters were in attendance at several locations issuing licenses.

Karen Wilson, 51, protested in Norwalk while waving a banner proclaiming: "Marriage should be held in honor."

"This is just one more step in the wrong direction," Wilson said, claiming that widespread homosexuality was a sign that the "last days" had arrived.

© Wire reports

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

14 Comments
Login to comment

So if a gay married couple can file California state taxes jointly? And how about the Federal? Do they become unmarried separate single people again? What about when they are in foreign countries? Will they be granted the same courtesies that a heterosexual married couple would be? For that matter will the fact that they are married in CA be recognized at all?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good questions and I'm sure that the Federal gov't is working their ass off to get those questions answered as quickly as possible. I mean the Federal gov't is doing their best to recognize everybody correct?

I mean they tax you for cocaine if you're arrested trafficing cocaine. So I'm sure they'll have the tax code corrected this week to include gay marriages. < :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While I think it would have been much preferable for gay marriage to have been legalized via the ballot box rather than legislated from the bench the result is still to welcomed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since Resident Aliens in the US can sponser their parents, children and SPOUSES to obtain a permanent visa (green card), I guess the US Immigration peoiple will also have to re-write the codes. I can see all the terrorists trying to get in on gay-marriage visas already ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On the federal immigration question - well, no. You see, immigration is regulated at the federal level and thus far, gays and lesbians are not allowed to sponsor their same sex spouses for immigration purposes. The Defense of Marriage Act was passed in the mid-90s and specifically prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and granting federal benefits such as social security, immigration, etc. I expect this to change soon; there is a bill in the US Congress which would allow a US national to sponsor a same-sex partner for immigration purposes. If a Dem is elected in November and the Congress remains under Dem control it is sure to become law. One poster mentioned an interesting issue and that is the federal taxation issues. I would guess such couples would have to file separately and then jointly on the state level.

much preferable for gay marriage to have been legalized via the ballot box rather than legislated from the bench

Some rights should never be up to the ballot box and that is why we have a judiciary to balance state and citizen interests. Some of the most controversial racial and voting rights issues would never have been won at the ballot - it took courageous and bold justices to make the call.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some rights should never be up to the ballot box and that is why we have a judiciary to balance state and citizen interests.

I disagree. The judiciary should interpet and apply the law as it was intended by the lawmakers, not as they might wish it to be.

Some of the most controversial racial and voting rights issues would never have been won at the ballot - it took courageous and bold justices to make the call.

Almost certainly true - though in many cases the public support would likely have evolved in the same direction. But if the law only means what judges want it to mean rather than what they understand to be the intent of the applicable legislation, then the law means nothing. IMO, rule of law is much preferable to rule of men.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

California, the land of fruits and nuts.

RR

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Washington, DC is also the land of fruits and nuts, also. Shall I remind you of Larry Craig and Mark Foley.

At least when people are open and honest with their sexuality, they don't have to go to restroom stalls to fish for a date or send text messages to children.

They're just people, but you and others like yourself want to villify gays and lesbians because you're perfect. < :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow. Only one hateful comment from the Latent Brigade. Good to see these remaining people are joining the dinasours where they belong!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

shimajiro:

While I think it would have been much preferable for gay marriage to have been legalized via the ballot box rather than legislated from the bench the result is still to welcomed.

GJP2006:

Some rights should never be up to the ballot box and that is why we have a judiciary to balance state and citizen interests. Some of the most controversial racial and voting rights issues would never have been won at the ballot - it took courageous and bold justices to make the call.

shimajiro:

I disagree. The judiciary should interpet and apply the law as it was intended by the lawmakers, not as they might wish it to be.

I think what happens in cases like this (and more and more frequently in the U.S.) is a blurring of the line between the judicial branch and the legislative branch of the government. Results and intentions aside, the judicial branch has definitely been overstepping its authority with increasing frequency.

As OssanULTRA pointed out, there are still some details in need of sorting, and it will be intersting to watch it all unfold. I, for one, will be watching to see how these marriages are recognized by other states. No doubt the issue will get more media attention than my interest in having all of the other states recognize my Tennessee-issued Concealed Carry permit.

Has anyone read the fine print of the California licenses? I'm just curious, because Taxachussetts requires the couples to be residents of the state, and Canada requires that at least one member from the couple live in Canada for a minimum of one year before a divorce can be processed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Latest news: A U.S. District Court judge has struck down the California anti-gay-marriage law as unconstitutional.

Another great day for the United States of America.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great news! Nice to see that these people will be able to have a better life with the people they choose to live with.

I'm not a big fan of marriages, same-sex or otherwise, preferring civil unions but it's great news for those who want to be married to the person they love. Congratulations!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This puts California on a sliperry slope to darkness. First condoned next legalised next compulsary thue are daft enough to allow it to happen. Mark my words the world is heading down a dangerous evil road.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First condoned next legalised next compulsary thue are daft enough to allow it to happen

LOL!!! Compulsory?

Get a grip on reality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites