Gay marriage licenses begin June 17

5/29/2008 Fresno, CA Those who want to get married are cautiously optimistic they will be able to legally tie the knot.

But opponents say not so fast. They want the decision to issue marriage licenses put off until voters decide if it should be legal.

For Jason Scott and his partner Randy Gray, June 17th could be a big day.

"Yeah, absolutely we are looking forward to it. We are going to be going down early in the morning on June 17th with a lot of other couples that will hopefully be going down and getting marriage licenses on that day," said Jason Scott, marriage equality leader.

The state bureau of vital statistics has told county clerks all over the state that's the day they can issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.

The order follows a state Supreme Court ruling which says laws against same sex marriage violate the state Constitution and are illegal. But in November, California voters will likely decide whether to change the Constitution, and declare marriage to be between one man and one woman.

Fresno pastor, Jim Franklin says it would be a mistake for same sex couples to rush out and get married.

"My real concern is for those couples. Because how cruel of a court to say we're gonna dangle this in front of you, with the opportunity that come November it could be taken away from you. It would only show the wisdom of the court to stay their decision for the sake of these couples," said Jim Franklin, Minister.

Franklin believes voters will approve the ban on same sex marriages. But the polls seem to show a change in attitude.

The latest field polls shows 51 percent of California voters approve of allowing same sex marriage. 42 percent disapprove. Seven percent have no opinion.

The statewide results are encouraging news to Jason and Randy.

"And for the first time ever we have seen that a majority of Californians who have been polled, are actually in support of same sex marriage," said Jason.

But, Pastor Franklin believes the majority still opposes same sex marriage.

"Polls come and polls go. What's really gonna decide is come November. Because the will of the people will trump the decision of the court come November, whatever that decision will be," said Jim Franklin.

The poll shows opposition to same sex marriage is strongest in the Central Valley. 55 percent oppose. Only 38 percent approve.

Supporters of same sex marriage see June 17th as the opening of a window of opportunity. They believe even if voters make same sex marriage illegal, the weddings already performed will stand.

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