With no Supreme Court word on gay marriage, couples set for delays

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When the U.S. Supreme Court did not make a decision Monday on whether to take up the issue of same-sex marriage in California, local wedding planners said one thing is certain: There will be more delays.

Lisa Phillian, owner of Rainbow Weddings in Rosemead, said Monday’s news was just another wrinkle in the increasingly complicated process of scheduling a same-sex wedding ceremony.


‘These people are going on with their lives,’ Phillian said. ‘They’re finding a new normal.’

Map: How gay marriage has progressed in the U.S.

Her chapel and wedding services business handles about 40 weddings a year. Every couple she meets with has several contingency options, depending on what legal options they believe will be available. And every year since she opened her business in 2008, there have been more options that couples have to consider, Phillian said.

‘Most couples just kind of accept their condition,’ she said. ‘It’s something they have to work around.’

This year, Phillian met with several couples who scheduled marriages for 2013 dates, assuming they could legally marry by this time next year. One couple began wedding planning in February, around the time a Field Poll showed that 59% of Californians supported same-sex marriage.

TIMELINE: Gay marriage since 2000

The couple’s date is set for February, but Phillian said they might have to consider rescheduling.

‘We thought we would have legal marriage by then, but now it’s almost Christmastime and we still don’t know,’ Phillian said. Amid so much uncertainty about same-sex marriage’s legality, Phillian said many couples are simply accepting their fate.

‘Some of my more traditional and prudent people are just going forward with domestic partnerships and not even looking at marriage as an option,’ Phillian said.

On Friday or later, the Supreme Court is expected to either take up the case -- which could result in a decision about same-sex marriage nationwide -- or dismiss it, effectively green-lighting same-sex marriages in California.

Phillian said she’s conflicted about the options.

‘The businessperson in me would love to see them not hear the case and we could have the marriages immediately,’ Phillian said. ‘The activist in me really wants to fight it all over the country.’

The Supreme Court could make an announcement on the case Friday.


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-- Frank Shyong