On Monday, county clerks around California were open and wedding gay and lesbian couples. One of those couples were Melissa Myers and Alana Forrest, a Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police captain, who were married in Santa Clara County. Damian Trujillo reports.
The Santa Clara County Clerk's office issued more than twice as many marriage licenses as usual in its first day since a federal court lifted a stay on same-sex marriages late last week.
Santa Clara County had issued 86 marriage licenses to couples by late afternoon Monday, more than double the average 40 licenses the county issued on an average day before Friday's court decision, Clerk-Recorder Regina Alcomendras said.
County employees used walkie-talkies to communicate when the office opened at 8 a.m. as 10 couples waited outside the entrance to the County Government Center in San Jose, Alcomendras said.
"The first hour was full, but it went smoothly after that," Alcomendras said. "We really didn't have a flowing issue, it was just busier. It was peaceful."
With up to 27 license stations available, the county had given out 86 official documents to gay and straight couples by 4:15 p.m. with others coming at the last minute before the 4:30 p.m. closing time, Alcomendras said.
Thirty-five couples had used the county's first-ever Express Ceremony service, allowing them to be married by a clerk right at the licensing station or by Board of Supervisors President Ken Yeager in his 10th floor office, Alcomendras said.
Yeager had performed at least 10 of the Express Marriages by about 4 p.m., including the first same-sex wedding of the day Monday morning to San Jose residents Eva and Trish Kedar, he said.
The clerk-recorder's office closed on Friday at 4:30 p.m. before receiving any same-sex marriage applications.
Hours earlier, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 3-0 to withdraw its 2010 stay of a lower court order that allowed gay and lesbian marriages.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal of the lower court decision by backers of Proposition 8, an initiative passed by California voters in 2008 that banned same-sex marriages.