SAN FRANCISCO — Same-sex marriages that were outlawed in California 4 1/2 years ago resumed in a rush after a federal appeals court took the “unusual, but not unprecedented,” step of freeing couples to obtain marriage licenses, before the U.S. Supreme Court had issued its final judgment in a challenge of the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban.
Within hours of the appeals court’s action Friday, the four plaintiffs who in 2009 sued to overturn the ban had exchanged vows during hastily arranged ceremonies that drew crowds of well-wishers as the news spread that the weddings were back on.
“I was at work,” lead plaintiff Kristen Perry said, adding that she rushed home to Berkeley to change into a gray suit so she could marry her now-wife Sandra Stier at San Francisco City Hall.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris declared Perry and Stier “spouses for life” as hundreds of supporters looked on and cheered from the balconies ringing the couple’s perch under City Hall’s rotunda. The other couple in the Supreme Court case, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, was married at Los Angeles City Hall 90 minutes later wearing matching white rose boutonnières and with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presiding.
“Your bravery in the face of bigotry has made history,” said Villaraigosa, who was pulled from his last day in office tour of the city to officiate the impromptu wedding.
Read more at Official Wire. By Lisa Leff.
Photo credit: Dave Schumaker (Creative Commons)