[Vision2020] Gay Marriages Begin

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Tue Jun 17 11:26:02 PDT 2008

There was a marriage today in San Francisco that was long, long overdue.
"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."
In a previous article it was reported that this couple had been living 
together for 55 years.  There are not many heterosexual marriages that can 
make that claim.
There is also an audio file on the KNX 1070 site.  It is a recording of a 
confrontation between a protestor of same-sex marriages and Gloria Allred 
at one of the weddings.
>From KNX-1070 at
Gay Marriages Begin
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)  -- Dozens of gay couples were married Monday after a 
landmark ruling making California the second state to allow same-sex 
nuptials went into effect.
At least five county clerks around the state extended their hours to issue 
marriage licenses, and many same-sex couples got married on the spot.
"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 May 15 California Supreme Court ruling, overturning bans on same-sex 
marriage, took effect at 5:01 p.m.
The really big rush to the altar was not expected to take place until 
today, 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.
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 on Monday in 
recognition of their long relationship and their status as pioneers of the 
gay-rights movement. More than 600 same-sex couples have 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.
After the mayor pronounced them "spouses for life," the couple kissed, 
drawing huge applause.
Newsom called officiating the wedding "this extraordinary and humbling 
Outside City Hall, a crowd gathered to wish the happy couple 
Some people opposed to gay marriage were also there. A few held signs with 
statements including "Jesus said, 'Go and sin no more.' "
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.
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 on the matter was scheduled for today.
Also Monday, a conservative Christian law firm and a church faxed letters 
to county clerk offices, telling them that they do not have to do work 
related to same-sex marriages if it violates their beliefs.
Despite the last-minute legal efforts, dozens of same-sex couples were 
married in ceremonies at city offices in San Francisco, Alameda, Sonoma, 
Los Angeles and Yolo counties.
First in line to pick up a marriage license in Sonoma were Melanie 
Phoenix, 47, and Terry Robinson, 48, of Santa Rosa. They have been 
together for almost 26 years and 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."
In February 2004, Newsom challenged 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, which led the same court last month to 
overturn California's ban on gay marriage.
Among the plaintiffs in those lawsuits were a couple married Monday in a 
Jewish ceremony in front of the Beverly Hills courthouse.
The ceremony between Robin Tyler and Diane Olson was broadcast live on 
three newscasts in Los Angeles.
The couple wept and pressed their foreheads together, and onlookers 
Rabbi Denise Eger saluted the couple for "these many years of coming to 
this very place and standing on these courthouse steps year after year of 
being denied this right, this civil right."Mark as safe | Mark as unsafe 


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"We're a town of about 23,000 with 10,000 college students. The college 
students are not very active in local elections (thank goodness!)."

- Dale Courtney (March 28, 2007)

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