Valentine's Day Marriage - 2/14/04

On Thursday, February 12th San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that the city would begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. It was a pretty monumentous occasion that we thought was just for one day. Friday morning they appeared to be continuing the process, but we couldn't get up to the city; we thought we'd go on Tuesday, after the long weekend. To our surprise we learned Friday evening that City Hall was staying open all weekend and continuing to issue licenses! We decided to head for the city in the morning.

Randy woke up around 5:30am, excited to get started. We grabbed some breakfast and headed up to the city, making a quick stop at the loft to drop off the car. As we arrived at City Hall by taxi around 8:20am there were already about 200 people in line. As we waited for the doors to open at 10am, the line kept growing, around the corner behind us and out of sight. It must have been over a thousand people. Everyone was in a great mood, there were lots of cars driving by honking their horns in support, and there wasn't a protester anywhere to be seen. What a perfect day.

The line started moving promptly at 10, and we slowly made our way in to the county clerk's office. They took down all of our information and then sent us up to the fourth floor where the ceremonies were taking place. A really nice couple volunteered to be our witnesses, and James. M. Illig performed the ceremony. It was only about 3 minutes long, but we both had tears in our eyes as we exchanged rings. We hugged and thanked everyone, then went downstairs to have the marriage recorded and pick up our official "State of California License and Certificate of Marriage", stamped and notarized by the County Clerk.

As we walked out of City Hall, the line was all the way around the building. We walked the length of the line, side by side with the license in hand. It felt really good.

We really want to thank all of the city officials who volunteered their time to make this once in a lifetime event possible. On Tuesday we'll see what the courts say about things, but one thing is certain, change is in the air and hopefully it won't be long before same-sex marriage will be a common occurrence in every city!

A Real Marriage License!

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