California Appeals Court Officially Invalidates Proposition 8 Banning Gay Marriage; Hours Later Kristen Perry Marries Sandra Stier In San Francisco While Paul Katami Marries Jeff Zarrillo In Los Angeles

on June 29 2013 12:18 PM
  • Gay wedding of Prop 8 plaintiffs
    Sandy Stier and Kris Perry, plaintiffs of the lawsuit against Proposition 8, are married by California Attorney General Kamala Harris at City Hall in San Francisco Friday, June 28, 2103. Reuters
  • Gay wedding of Prop 8 plaintiffs
    Plaintiffs in the Proposition 8 case Paul Katami, left, and Jeff Zarrillo are married by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in Los Angeles Friday, June 28, 2013. Reuters
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[UPDATE 6:30 p.m. EDT] In a desperate bid to block same-sex marriages in California, the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court an emergency motion Saturday asking it to intervene. The group -- instrumental in getting Arizona Proposition 102 passed in 2008 that added a state constitutional amendment forbidding gay marriage -- said California reacted prematurely because it had 22 days to ask the high court to reconsider its ruling, the Associated Press reported.

Original story appears below:

It didn’t take long.

Forty-eight hours after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the sponsors of Proposition 8 had no standing to defend a ban on gay marriage in California, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals removed on Friday afternoon the stay it had imposed while the ban was being challenged though the court system. Same-sex marriage has been illegal in California since the referendum was passed in November 2008.

Then, just hours later, the plaintiffs in the case rushed to their respective city halls to tie their knots, the first of many ceremonies expected to take place this weekend in California among gay couples who have been waiting for the courts to open the gateway to equal protection under the law.

The Los Angeles Times reports that at least a dozen people seeking marriage licenses were turned away after the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/Clerk's Office received a call at 4:07 p.m. Friday saying it was OK to issue these licenses. But registrars in San Francisco and Sacramento extended their office hours into the evening to accommodate the demand for licenses that allowed couples to host weddings over the weekend. In the south, NBC reported that the Orange County Clerk said it would open on one Saturday in July to meet the demand this summer. 

“Your bravery in the face of bigotry has made history,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, according to the AP. The mayor cut short his tour of the city on his last day in office to officiate at the spontaneously planned wedding between the two male plaintiffs in the case.

Up the coast in San Francisco, Kristen Perry, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, married Sandra Stier in a ceremony presided over by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who declared the two “spouses for life.” The couple have been together since 1997.

"It's a great day in San Francisco, it's a great day in California and it's a great day in the country because Sandy and I are married,” Perry told things of onlookers from an interior balcony of San Francisco’s huge, ornate City Hall, according to CNN.

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