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Beverly Hills News

County Offices Packed With Marriage Requests
Posted by Nashfa Hawwa on Jul 1, 2013 - 6:33:39 PM

BEVERLY HILLS—Hundreds of same-sex couples lined up in the Los Angeles County Clerk’s offices on Monday, July 1 to get married. According to Dean Logan, the county clerk, over 500 couples completed online marriage license applications by 4:00 p.m. Friday, June 28 since the federal court lifted a ban and allowed same-sex marriages to resume in California.


The decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to allow same-sex marriage was propelled by the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Defense of the Marriage Act, DOMA, on Wednesday, June 26, that also subsequently annulled Proposition 8, which had proposed to ban same-sex marriages in California in 2008. After the U.S Supreme Court’s repealed the same-sex marriage ban of DOMA, proponents of Proposition 8 have no further legal credibility to appeal before a federal judge’s ruling.


Proposition 8, which was approved in 2008, stated that legal marriage in California should be between a man and a woman. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals put a legal hold on the ceremonies during the court challenges, and halted the ban on Friday.


Various members of the West Hollywood City Council and other officials have been temporarily deputized in order to satisfy the demand for same-sex marriages. The officials were sworn in at 12:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at the West Hollywood Library, and they presided over ceremonies at the West Hollywood council chamber at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd from 1.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m. on July 1.


"On this day only, civil ceremonies will be performed free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis," according to a press release from the County Clerk’s Office. "Couples must have a license issued by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder before being married,” the press release also stated.


The city even provided a complementary shuttle back and forth from the council chamber and the Beverly Hills Registrar-Recorder branch from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday so people could get their licenses. The Mayor of Long Beach, Bob Foster conducted the marriage ceremony of Bob Crow, co-founder of Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Pride Inc., and his partner Tony Almeida at Harvey Milk Park.


The free-of charge, first-come first-serve basis marriage ceremonies are being offered as a celebration of the U.S Supreme Court decision to lift the federal ban on same-sex marriages, which allows Californians to resume same-sex marriages for the first time since 2008.


Conservative legal experts are pushing to uphold Proposition 8. They sent an emergency request on Saturday June 29, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to halt same-sex weddings because its decision to not uphold the voter-approved Proposition 8 is legally pending during the 25 day period when parties can ask for reconsideration. The request was rejected on Sunday, June 30 by Justice Anthony Kennedy without comment.


The Los Angeles County Clerk’s Office in Norwalk will remain open until 7:00 p.m. on July 1 and July 2.


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