California | Gay Marriage | News

5:01 PM


At 5:01pm today, history will be made as gay and lesbian couples begin marrying in California, led symbolically by the marriage of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, the couple of 50 years who were first married in San Francisco City Hall in 2004 (above). I've rounded up some of the significant reporting here.

road.jpg Profiles of some of the key figures in the same-sex marriage struggle (both for and against) including Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Hillary and Julie Goodridge, Gavin Newsom, and Ronald George.

Weddingroad.jpg A new CBS poll shows reveals America's shifting views on same-sex marriage: "Twenty-eight percent think same-sex couples should be permitted to form civil unions, but more than a third - 36 percent - say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship. Last month, the California Supreme Court struck down that state’s ban on same-sex marriage, paving the way for gay and lesbian couples to marry there. Americans’ views on this issue have changed since 2004, although opinion has not changed substantially in the last two years. In November of 2004 (soon after the presidential election) just 21 percent of Americans supported the idea of same-sex couples being allowed to marry."

road.jpg A California business specializing in interchangeable figures for wedding cakes is seeing a windfall. More on the business boom, below.

road.jpg What churches are participating? "Episcopalians, Unitarian Universalists, rabbis, a Methodist and even a Catholic priest are planning to bless some same-sex marriages when they are set to become legal in California on Monday. 'I believe the family is a cornerstone for a strong society, and I'm all in favor of everything we can do to build up the values that make strong families,' said the Rev. Susan Russell of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, which has been blessing same-sex unions for 16 years. 'I think the values matter more than the gender of the people making up the heads of those families,' Russell said." NPR reports on the coming clash between equal rights and religious expression.

road.jpg Some couples don't plan on rushing to the altar: "As of yesterday, more than 700 same-sex couples had made appointments to get a marriage license in San Diego County, including 190 for Tuesday. Michael Kimmel, a Kensington psychotherapist who counsels gay couples, said the pressure to wed is prompting some couples to re-evaluate the strength of their relationships."

road.jpg The NYT notes that couples may be wise to look to examples in Massachusetts.

Wbcgaymarriageroad.jpg And don't think that Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church is going to miss out on the action.

road.jpg The San Francisco Chronicle visits the town where the highest percentage of residents (83%) voted for Proposition 22, the successful state ballot initiative that limited marriage to a man and a woman, and gets its take on the same-sex marriage laws: "Most residents still don't like the idea of allowing men to marry men and women to marry women. Some residents say they don't know any openly gay people, and others have trouble even saying the word 'gay.' One man called it being 'of the homosexual persuasion.'"

road.jpg California businesses are poised to receive a windfall: "Faced with a wilted economy, water shortages and sticker shock at the gasoline pump, many California businesses are welcoming 'the dinks' (double income, no kids) with open arms. 'It’s basically a godsend,' said Daniel Doiron, the general manager of the Ingleside Inn in Palm Springs, which is offering honeymoon specials from $479 bargain basement (boutonnieres, 15-minute wedding, 20 guests) to the 'Elizabeth Taylor' at $29,999 (poolside villas, wedding cake and reception, ice sculptures, flowers, sit-down dinner for 200 and three nights in the honeymoon suite). 'We’re just blessed to help.' Ten couples from New York, Las Vegas and Phoenix have signed up for the options."

An AP report on same-sex marriage, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. The United Church of Christ will also be officiating over same-sex marriages. It was also the most represented denomination in the friend of the court brief.

    I don't understand why some people seem to go out of their way to exclude the UCC when listing gay supportive churches or pastors/priests, especially when they list CATHOLICS and even Methodists and Episcopals. The UCC has all of these denominations beat by ten miles when it comes to standing up, DENOMINATION-WIDE, for gay rights and marriage equality.

    UCC Churches and UCC pastors across the state are lined up to perform FULL CHURCH marriage ceremonies for gay couples. I'm not talking about performing "blessings" of civil marriages performed at the court house, which is what most, if not all, of these other churches will do. I'm talking about full fledged marriages, legal and spiritual, performed IN the church, including the pastor signing of the marriage license.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 16, 2008 10:25:34 AM

  2. The Unitarians, by the way, are like the UCC in the fact that they are FULLY supportive of legal and spiritual marriage equality at a denomination-wide level. They also perform full legal and spiritual marriage ceremonies in their churches.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 16, 2008 10:29:02 AM

  3. indeed, UCC rocks!

    Posted by: banshiii | Jun 16, 2008 11:04:09 AM

  4. We're running a cool interview today with one
    of the attorneys from the California Supreme Court historic decision. Check it OUT... Congrats to everyone in CA who's about to tie the knot!! We just celebrated 4 years of gay marriage in Massachusetts & we confirm equality is Fabulous!!

    Posted by: Charlotte | Jun 16, 2008 11:15:50 AM

  5. I second the UCC Church kudos.

    This church has been in the gay vanguard for years. While I'm not a member I heartily salute their efforts. Thank you UCC Church for your inclusiveness of people of all persuasions and color.

    Posted by: gaywest | Jun 16, 2008 12:08:00 PM

  6. Andy, I just wanted to say thanks for compiling all this. What a fantastic resource.

    Posted by: Sasha | Jun 16, 2008 12:12:00 PM

  7. I was reminded that Doogie Howser's publicist used "homosexual persuasion" as in "not of the" right before Doogie decided to come out...oops I think I mean Neal Patrick Harris, mutatis mutandis

    Posted by: JJ | Jun 16, 2008 12:59:02 PM

  8. I met Phyllis many moons ago when she was a guest speaker at our conference at Indiana University. Loved her down-to-earth/witty personality and was impressed that she refused to attend a meeting with some local women that would not admit men. Del was one of those who traveled the country with my friend Leonard Matlovich to raise money to fight the Briggs Initiative which would have banneed gay teachers in California.

    Here's a link to an article in today's SF Chron with more details about Phyllis & Del's relationship and plans for the day. Del's 66-year old daughter [yes] will attend.

    "To grasp the longevity of their relationship, one only has to know what they paid in 1955 for their small hillside home with a sweeping view of San Francisco. Their paltry salaries as a secretary and a bookkeeper helped them cover the $11,000 price.

    The years of their accomplishments and passions are displayed on their walls: plaques of appreciation from politicians and civil rights groups and photographs and drawings of such public figures as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, Shirley Chisholm and Eleanor Roosevelt. There is the collection of campaign buttons for Democratic candidates, the baseball autographed by Giants players, and a vast collection of books, including copies of 'Lesbian/Woman', which they co-wrote in 1972."

    UCC is as great as it is because of people, gay and nongay, like Zeke. While I'm not a very contented athiest, I highly respect them while simultaneously being ashamed and outraged by United Methodism, for which I was once a lay minister, for continuing to ban even civil unions. There are some great Methodists fighting the good fight but it is inexcusable that they even have to.

    BTW: the women to the left in the picture of Phyllis & Del are, respectively, Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights [whose transgender attorney cowrote the successful state supreme court brief] and Roberta Achtenberg, the first out gay public official in the US whose appointment [by Bill Clinton] to a federal position [Assistant Secty of HUD] was confirmed by the United States Senate...over the protests of fascist Jesse Helms who publicly referred to her as "that damn lesbian."

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jun 16, 2008 1:04:51 PM

  9. As an very active UCC member, I am a little offended we were left off that list as well. Here in Santa Cruz, the first three couples to be married are members of the local UCC congregation. The city employee who is officiating the weddings is also a UCC member. The third couple to be married in our county is the lesbian couple who serve as associate ministers for our congregation.

    The UCC files amicus briefs in support of marriage equality in every case it can. Our congregation, our conference, and our denominational offices in Cleveland all issued press releases celebrating the CA Supreme Court decision.

    As others have stated (thanks Zeke!) the UCC, and our cousins the Unitarians, have done FAR FAR more on this issue than any other religious community.

    Posted by: David | Jun 16, 2008 2:32:43 PM


    I want as many gays as possible to show up and drown them out while flirting with them unmercifully to make them uncomfortable.

    Anyone willing to get arrested should spray them with something gross.

    Posted by: fanboi | Jun 16, 2008 5:15:22 PM

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