• WEATHER ALERT Winter Weather Advisory

Same-sex marriage licenses stir confusion

November 7, 2008 12:42:52 AM PST
Bay Area county clerks are trying to resolve the confusion over whether they can still issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Ellen Pontac and Shelley Bayles heard reports that Solano County was still issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, so the newlywed couple jumped out of bed and drove 45 minutes to Fairfield from their home in Davis.

"Since I am legally allowed to conduct marriage ceremonies, actually we both are, that we thought we'd come here and offer our services," said Pontac.

But by the time they got to Solano County, the Clerk's Office had changed its policy.

"Solano County has yet to receive cleared guidance from the state, so we are opting not to perform any ceremonies for same-sex couples so that we don't put anybody in a legal limbo," said Solano County Spokesperson Stephen Pierce.

"I can't tell you how elated we were when we left the house, and now how that emotion has just turned inside out," said Pontac.

The confusion illustrates what county clerks around the state are dealing with. They looked at Sacramento for guidance, but this isn't something state officials have ever had to deal with.

Some clerks say they may be on their own making decisions that impact the lives of same-sex couples.

Rather to take a chance on whether their status is correct now on Prop. 8, we are just asking them to wait," said Pierce.

Supporters of Prop. 8 say it's time to move on and accept the will of the voters. But opponents believe the fight will eventually pay.

"We are not that young, we want to be really legally married and I just want it to happen right away," said Pontac.

But as they've learned, nothing in this fight happens quickly.


Load Comments