SACRAMENTO -- With a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the future of same-sex marriage expected as early as Wednesday morning, county clerks say they’re prepared if same-sex unions in California are legalized.
“We’re pretty much ready to go,” said Cathy Darling Allen, the clerk for Shasta County and the head of the California Assn. of Clerks and Election officials. “In 2008, we had some assistance from the state Department of Public Health in making marriage license forms gender neutral. We continue to use those forms today. So the mechanics of the process are ready to go.”
Darling Allen said that even if the high court invalidates Proposition 8, she expects that it will take some time before same-sex marriages are able to proceed. “My understanding is we’ll have some kind of a waiting period in terms of start date,” she said, “25 to 30 days is what I’ve been told, but that feels kind of speculative. But it’s not going to be Friday. It’s going to be at some point in the future.”
State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) says his constituents are eagerly awaiting the court’s decision.
“Everyone’s on pins and needles,” he said. “But I think everyone’s fairly confident. I think the expectation with regards to Prop. 8 at a minimum, we will have equal marriage rights in California.”
Darling Allen said she hopes this ruling is different from the last time same-sex marriage was briefly legalized back in 2008. “I think the main difference for us is last time, there was an expectation that this could be a time-limited thing. This time, we’re looking at a final, final answer I hope. We’d all like to have this issue put to bed.”