San Franciscans breathe new life into reopened City Hall after long pandemic closure

Wayne Freedman Image
ByWayne Freedman KGO logo
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
San Francisco City Hall reopens for business
San Francisco City Hall finally reopened Monday, signaling yet one more return to normalcy as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco City Hall finally reopened Monday, signaling yet one more return to normalcy as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes.

The grand, iconic building filled, once again, with what felt like more than a year's worth of business standing in line outside the City Clerk's office.

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Birth certificates seemed to be the hot ticket. "I lost it in the pandemic," said one man. "Now, everything is opening up. We need to take trips."

Plenty of people applied for marriage licenses, too.

"We waited a year and a half. This is so special," said Madeline Patterson of her pending marriage to Indira Carmona.

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"Our first wedding was scheduled October 2020," said Hanna Teferi, engaged to Casey Blanton.

They were the lucky ones, being among the first four people to be married in San Francisco City Hall as such ceremonies resumed. Mayor London Breed did the nuptial honors.

"I was filling City Hall with love, how about that?" she asked.

Because of the reporters and television crews gathered around, the couples suffered no shortage of privacy or witnesses.

"I mean, she is a hero to me," said Madeline of Mayor Breed. "We never thought we would be able to get married."

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Returning to the Pride theme, as a wedding venue, San Francisco City Hall is Ground Zero for same sex couples. It has been that way since 2004, when then-mayor Gavin Newsom declared, "This is about ending discrimination. It's about treating people respectfully and fairly."

"We remember how full this hall was and people waiting to in line to get married," reminisced Mayor Breed.

Today, with some social distancing measures still in place, San Francisco City Hall had considerably more breathing room.

"We never thought this would happen," said Madeline.

"It was a long time coming," said Hanna.

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