Plaintiffs in California's Prop. 8 case wed in SF, LA


The two women who took their case for same sex marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court become the first couple to tie the knot in California after the court's decision. The event came suddenly and surprisingly after the 9th Circuit Court lifted the stay against the weddings, just two days after the Supreme Court invalidated Proposition 8, the ban on same sex marriage.

"By virtue of the power invested in me, by the state of California, I now declare you spouses for life," said Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Saying their vows to each other is a moment Kris Perry, Sandy Stier and their four sons have been waiting for. It took nine years and a Supreme Court decision to get here. They were at the San Francisco County Clerk's Office within minutes after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a stay on the Prop 8 case. It was a surprise for everyone.

Quintana: "Did you think they were going to lift the order so quickly?"
Perry: "No, not at all, no. We woke up this morning and went to work."

"The fact that we can get married so quickly it's just a joyous occasion for us," said Sandra Stier.

Their son Elliot was the ring bearer -- the only one of their four sons to be at the ceremony because this all happened so fast.

Harris officiated the wedding. In the moments after Friday's action by the 9th Circuit, she also clarified an issue raised by the County Clerk's Office in Los Angeles.

"I was very direct in informing the clerk that the marriages are to begin immediately," said Harris.

Within minutes of Perry and Stier tying the knot in City Hall, dozens of other couples did the same thing. For hours, the rotunda erupted in cheers as vows were exchanged. At the County Clerk's Office, a line of people waited for their turn at getting a marriage license and 80 licenses were issued in the four hours after Friday's court action. However, not everyone is happy about the marriages.

"It doesn't matter what five people on a bench say, it doesn't matter what this county clerk says or mayor says marriage is, what God says is what really matters," said Luke Aaron, a Sacramento Baptist preacher.

Just before Perry and Stier left City Hall, they were led to the grand staircase, both women clearly overwhelmed by the day. They were the guests of honor for a short performance by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus.

On Friday the San Francisco County Clerk's Office wrapped up business at 8:15 p.m. They'll re-open Saturday and Sunday to resume issuing marriage licenses. Other Bay Area counties will be open for business Monday.

Prop 8 plaintiffs Jeff Katami and Paul Zarrillo married at Los Angeles City Hall 90 minutes after Perry and Stier with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presiding.

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