First full day of same-sex weddings

June 18, 2008 12:29:13 AM PDT
San Francisco City Hall's doors opened early and closed late on Tuesday to please the crowd of same-sex couples that wanted to get married.

There was a big rush to get through the doors at 8 a.m. and by the end of the day, things had calmed down. Back in 2004 the scene had a lot of joy, but was a lot more chaotic. This time around, there was still a lot of joy, but the scene was more calm because the couples had to make appointments in order to get their marriage licenses.

San Francisco City Hall has been transformed into a chapel of love.

More than 100 couples are tying the knot on the first full day since the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling took effect.

"Our love is the same as everybody else's who's been married. It's just amazing, so amazing," said Tyler Barrick, a Newlywed.

Unlike four years ago when the weddings were impromptu and illegal, these marriages have the full weight of the law. A preschool class handed out flowers to help newlyweds celebrate.

"I'm 50 and for the first time I'm part of society and there's nothing like it," said Ron Weaver, a Newlywed.

"Why so quiet? Come on in," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to an eager same-sex couple waiting outside his office.

Mayor Newsom performed a handful of ceremonies on Tuesday, but most were officiated by volunteers like Bud Ryerson. ABC7 met him last week as he was being trained and Tuesday he was elated.

"It's wonderful. I'm so happy. The building is filled with joy and music," said Ryerson.

This couple he married has been together for 17 years and calls their marriage a miracle.

"And while it's political and historical, for us it's deeply personal," said Lynda Cente, a Newlywed.

Opposite-sex couples weren't shut out of the love fest. Thirty had appointments to get marriage licenses on Tuesday. Steve and Elizabeth Andrade did not mind sharing the day.

"It's all about love. So who are we to say not or the government to say who or who not," said Steve Andrade, a newlywed.

Hanging over the happiness of the same-sex newlyweds is the voter initiative this fall that could overturn the Supreme Court.

"We're going to fight and hopefully we'll win in November and if God forbid, we don't, we'll keep fighting. We're not going to give up," said Mayor Newsome.

On Monday, protesters were out in force, but on Tuesday they were missing in action. Instead, you have the Gay Men's Chorus, free cupcakes being handed out and a whole lot of people feeling the love.


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