Dozens line up early at San Francisco City Hall to get married

Dozens of same-sex couples line up outside San Francisco City Hall to get married.
(Maria L. La Ganga / Los Angeles Times)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dozens of same-sex couples lined up early Saturday to get married at San Francisco City Hall.

An hour before the county clerk’s doors opened at 9 a.m., there were about 20 people in line. An hour later, there were more than 100.

“It’s a tidal wave you can’t turn back,” said Art Cook from Belmont.


Cook, 55, drove down to San Francisco with his partner, Brian Nolan, to get their marriage licenses. The couple planned to get married Nov. 12, they said, but a week of historic rulings for gay marriage swept them up in the moment.

“We decided to go up and see what happens,” said Nolan, 47. They met nine years ago at a gay pride festival in the Bay Area and have been together ever since.

As they waited, two men walked by, with one yelling “24 years right here! Muah!” and blew a kiss at the line. People hung out of car windows cheering for the soon-to-be-wedded, drivers honked and people snapped pictures.

“I think this is the most monumental week we’ve had in a long, long time,” said Angie Bush, 34.

Bush is a member of the LGBT community and diverted her morning jogging route to make sure she passed City Hall. “This is an amazing day,” she said before continuing on.

San Francisco, which is hosting its annual gay pride festival, is expected to become ground-zero for same-sex marriages this weekend.

San Francisco and Sacramento counties extended their hours late into Friday evening to accommodate the demand for same-sex marriage licenses. The court order lifting the ban on gay marriage in California was made public about 3:30 p.m. Friday. More weddings will take place this weekend in San Francisco.

Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/Clerk Dean Logan said he received a call from Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris at 4:07 p.m., informing him that marriage licenses were to be issued immediately. Couples who called were told they could obtain a license if they did so by 5 p.m.

The office will reopen at 8 a.m. Monday, according to county officials.

Only one marriage license was issued in Los Angeles County on Saturday – for the Proposition 8 plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo of Burbank, who were married Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in City Hall on Friday evening.


Gay couples begin marrying in California

Restart to gay marriage in California came as surprise to all

Prop. 8 authors denounce restart of gay marriages in California