California | Gay Marriage | News

Same-Sex Marriage Legal in California


History was ushered in at 5:01 pm PST today as California began marrying same-sex couples, becoming the second state in the nation to do so.

Cake_3In San Francisco, 87-year-old Del Martin and 84-year-old Phyllis Lyon were married after being together for more than 50 years. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom officiated:

"Well-wishers cheered when they emerged outside Newsom's office after the ceremony. Dozens of couples gathered outside the clerks offices in Alameda, Sonoma and Yolo counties, where hours were extended to accommodate gay couples who wanted to be among the first to marry. Derek Norman, 23 and Robert Blaudow, 39, from Memphis, were in the Bay Area for a conference and decided to get married at the Alameda County clerk's office. 'We might wait a long time in Tennessee, so this is our chance,' Blaudow said. First in line to pick up a marriage license in Sonoma was Melanie Phoenix, 47, and Terry Robinson, 48, of Santa Rosa. They have been together for almost 26 years and plan to be wed in August."


Chris Lechman and Mark Gren were first to be married in Sonoma County.

Yolo La
Shelly Bailes, left, and Ellen Pontac, right, were first to marry in Yolo County, and Robin Tyler and Diane Olson (I posted about them yesterday), were first in L.A.

road.jpg Hundreds of appointments pending for today.
road.jpg Couples in L.A. urged to appear mainstream: "no guys showing up in gowns"...
road.jpg INTERACTIVE MAP: How clerks are treating it, county by county
road.jpg 35 out of 58 counties will not allow clerks to opt out.

It's a great day for our nation. Congratulations to the happy couples!

I've clipped CNN's coverage of the goings-on at SF City Hall last night, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Like a dozen New Year's Eves rolled into one. Mazel Tov, dahlings!

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | Jun 16, 2008 9:01:42 PM

  2. The TV footage from inside San Francisco City Hall caused me to cry and smile at the same time. Dammit, the homophobes shouldn't be allowed to take away this happy moment or cheapen it with their hateful initiative.

    Posted by: Peter | Jun 16, 2008 9:11:45 PM

  3. Awwww that story made me soo happy! I'm so glad that gay marriage is legalized in CA, especially with their reputation of being a very liberal and open-minded state.

    Is the same-sex legalization thing only temporary or permanent?

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 16, 2008 9:12:41 PM

  4. Beautiful!

    Posted by: jmg | Jun 16, 2008 9:12:46 PM

  5. Congrats to everyone! I hope to go to Norwalk and see it happening tomorrow!

    Posted by: Sergio | Jun 16, 2008 9:15:29 PM

  6. I can barely type through the tears. Congratulations to all the couples making history.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Jun 16, 2008 9:43:38 PM

  7. Well guys, I'm glad I'm not the only one crying. Tears were in my eyes as soon as I saw their picture. Congratulations Del and Phyllis.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jun 16, 2008 9:51:00 PM

  8. Fuckin' A that story is so sweet. Legitimate recognition of thier commitment finally. I can't imagine what they must be feeling but thinking of it is making me cry too.

    Posted by: Jersey | Jun 16, 2008 9:53:00 PM

  9. Hurray! Congratulations to all : )

    Posted by: Giovanni | Jun 16, 2008 9:59:09 PM

  10. lets all bow our heads and pray to what ever god or goddess you believe in, that this is just the beginning. peace and blessings to youall!

    Posted by: sugahmomma | Jun 16, 2008 9:59:39 PM

  11. Congratulations and best wishes to these ladies and to all the gay and lesbian couples who will be taking advantage of all the joys and miseries associated with marriage that straight people have always taken for granted.

    It must be great to live in a state that treats you, at least legally, as full, first-class citizens.

    Hopefully the rest of the country will join you and Massachusetts in the 21st century before too too long.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 16, 2008 10:15:08 PM

  12. I hope all of you Californians have as much fun as we did four years ago....and that more of you join us soon.

    Posted by: MAJeff | Jun 16, 2008 10:59:05 PM

  13. Andy, I have meaning to discuss something with you... oh dammit, I'll just ask.... will you marry me? please?

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 16, 2008 11:12:16 PM

  14. Are they "popping cherries" off that same-sex wedding cake? Hot. *giggle*

    Posted by: Raymie | Jun 16, 2008 11:42:58 PM

  15. Raymie,

    they've been together for over 50 years and all I can think to say is "I hope I'm still popping cherries at their age."

    Posted by: Weezy | Jun 17, 2008 12:37:46 AM

  16. That vintage photo on top of the wedding cake is awesome!! Can't stop smiling!

    Posted by: crispy | Jun 17, 2008 1:01:43 AM

  17. It drives me a little bonky when they get their information wrong. The reporter has said at least two times that if the constitutional amendment passes on November that these marriages will be made invalid. That is not clear at all. These civil marriages starting en masse tomorrow are legal and valid. It will take a lot of legal efforts if that amendment passes (and it's not going to because we're going to work very hard -- go donate at ) to take a civil marriage that is legal and make it null and void retroactively.

    Posted by: Rachel | Jun 17, 2008 1:35:13 AM

  18. Funny how there is only one male couple and all lesbian couples - we all know the gay men are so not the marrying type having to do "open relationships", etc. - esp. in SF!

    Posted by: no surprise | Jun 17, 2008 7:35:28 AM

  19. Yeah!!!!

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 17, 2008 7:48:30 AM

  20. This makes me wish I still lived in California...

    Posted by: Jeff | Jun 17, 2008 7:58:14 AM

  21. Keep fighting the good fight Zeke. Today, I am stepping back and enjoying the fact that we are no longer second class citizens in California.

    Mazel Tov to all. Long term relationships are not for the feint/faint of heart. That we can now partake of the officially recognized rights and responsibilities is a mitzvah.

    Posted by: rudy | Jun 17, 2008 8:12:29 AM

  22. Congratulations to Phyllis and Del. I'm glad to be living in CA and hope the good people of this state decide to maintain the new status quo in the November election.

    Posted by: queendru | Jun 17, 2008 9:49:51 AM

  23. I'm still waiting for the angry poster to come along who takes offense at the "no guys showing up in gowns" comment.

    As much as we say same-sex marriage is a right, all such rights have ultimately been granted by courts or the legislature as if they were privileges. And like all privileges, it can be taken away... especially now. No foolishness, people. This is a PR game, and we've got to play it right unless we want this dream to end for good in November. Make the adult choice to think about consequences. Make this about marriage, not about weddings.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jun 17, 2008 9:58:43 AM

  24. My partner and I were one set of the several thousand same-sex partners in 2004; we got married at SF's City Hall under the clock. However, in 2005, we moved to Oregon, which has a statute against same-sex marriage; however, they did pass civil unions last November. So we're unsure what to do--get married back in California, get unionized in Oregon, or both. Nonetheless, congrats to all the couples, and let's hope this November ballot fails--the polls actually indicate there's hope this time!

    Posted by: Dback | Jun 17, 2008 11:28:14 AM

  25. "Partner For Life"...the unofficial GLBT Wedding/Commitment anthem by recording artist Jimmy Roland. Can be auditioned & downloaded from iTunes at the following link:

    Also, visit the artist at:

    Posted by: Jack White | Jun 17, 2008 12:03:20 PM

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