SAN DIEGO – Same-sex couples were married July 1 in the County Administration Center in San Diego today for the first time since the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, under which Proposition 8 was struck down as unconstitutional.
Couples lined up outside the building early today to be married with San Diego’s scenic waterfront as a backdrop.
Stephanie Torres and Susan Hartman, together for 21 years, were the first to be married. They wore Hawaiian shirts and sandals.
Torres said they had a chance to be married in 2008 but balked, fearing their union would be undone by the courts.
”The roller coaster of life,” Torres said. ”We’re here, we’re happy and we’re very happy with the Supreme Court decision and equal rights.”
In November 2008, voters approved Proposition 8, which effectively banned same-sex marriages by defining marriage as a legal union between and man and a woman.
A federal judge found the law unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court justices rejected an appeal by supporters of the initiative, leaving the lower court ruling to stand.
On Friday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals waived a 25-day waiting period for the ruling to take effect.
Val Wood of the county Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s office, said her office has been inundated by phone calls. She said that couples need an appointment to buy wedding licenses and arrange for a civil ceremony done by county employees.
On Wednesdays this summer, however, walk-ins will be accepted, and everyone who has their required papers in order before 5 p.m. that day will be married, according to Wood.
”It’s going to be very popular this Wednesday, because there will be a lot of couples,” Wood said, adding that all walk-ins need to have proper identification.