City Hall ready for crush of marriage ceremonies 

City Hall is prepared for a bevy of bouquets next week.

At 5:01 p.m. Wednesday, the moment the ban on same-sex weddings is scheduled to be lifted, San Francisco will be ready with 63 volunteer officiators to begin ringing the proverbial church bells.

The County Clerk’s Office, which normally closes at 5 p.m., will remain open until 8 p.m. and will continue to do so until the "surge" of same-sex couples eager to be married slows.

City Administrator Edwin Lee said the office may consider being open during the weekend if there’s enough demand.

"We’re going to be prepared for the surge," Lee said. "We want to accommodate everybody who comes in."

An estimated 18,000 same-sex couples got married between May and November 2008, the period when such nuptials were legal. The state Supreme Court ruled in May that the unions were legal, but in November, 52 percent of California voters approved Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage.

The following year, the California Supreme Court upheld the proposition, but also ruled that the marriages that had taken place before it passed were valid.

Several couples at City Hall for Thursday’s ruling said they would not miss another window to marry.

Jennifer Perez, 34, who was in line to marry her partner of "seven years and four months today," said they had missed their chance in 2008, in part because they optimistically hoped Prop. 8 would not pass. The couple wanted to plan a wedding that their families could participate in and didn’t have enough time to do that before the November election.

"We missed the boat last time and definitely don’t plan to this time," Perez said.  


Matrimony prep


3: Extra hours each day the Office of the County Clerk would stay open to handle the expected 150 same-sex marriages each day

4,000: Approximate same-sex couples who wed when San Francisco issued marriage licenses in 2004; those marriages were later deemed illegal

18,000: Approximate number of same-sex couples statewide who wed in 2008 when such marriages was deemed legal by the state Supreme Court

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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