California Same Sex Marriage

6/17/2008 Fresno, CA ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Today a hearing will be held to try to stop gay marriages after the first ceremonies were performed in California.

"We are not here to ruin somebody's day. We are here to uphold God's law. That's the way we feel," said Judy Malaspina with Catholics for the Common Good.

Within minutes of the state's first legal same sex ceremonies, opponents of gay marriage filed a statewide injunction to stop the marriages. They said the state did not hold public hearings to change the marriage license forms. They also argue, the licenses are not valid until lawmakers amend state marriage laws.

In the south Valley, the group "Central Valley Save Marriage" held a rally at 7:30am Tuesday morning in front of the Visalia Courthouse to protest gay marriage.

A Fresno couple is among those planning to make it legal, today. Robin McGehee and her partner Kathy Adams plan to tie the knot at noon. Both are professors at local colleges and have been partners for the last 10 years. "Being able to say 'my wife' or my 'significant other' is totally different. The value is different. When I say 'my wife' there is a value in society connected with that versus 'partner' or 'significant other,'" said Robin McGehee of Fresno.

McGehee said the best part of getting ready for a wedding is spending time with her family, especially her children 5-year-old Sebastian and 2-year-old Jackson. A lesbian couple was the first same-sex couple to receive a marriage license in San Francisco. Mayor Gavin Newsom presided over the wedding ceremony of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. The gay rights activists have been together for more than 50 years. The 80-somethings were the first to exchange vows in the city in 2004, when Mayor Newsom ordered city officials to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The ceremony was later voided.

The county clerk in Kern County won't be marrying anybody anytime soon. County Clerk Ann Barnett decided her office would not perform any marriage ceremonies starting June 13th.

Barnett cites financial and staffing setbacks as the reason. Her office is still issuing marriage licenses. Same sex couples say the move won't stop them from exchanging vows. Ministers will be out at the Kern County Administration Plaza marrying gay and straight couples for free.

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