County Clerks Ready for Marriage License Rush

San Francisco is expected to be the backdrop for dozens if not hundreds of same-sex weddings this weekend

Bay Area county clerks' offices scrambled Friday to accommodate same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses after a federal appeals court lifted a stay and allowed the marriages to resume.

Most Bay Area counties had little to no requests on Friday, but clerks said they would be ready for a busy day Monday.

San Francisco, on the other hand, was very busy Friday.

San Francisco City Hall stayed open until 8 p.m. for anyone looking to obtain a marriage license, Mayor Ed Lee said. 

Kris Perry and Sandra Stier, plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Proposition 8, the state's ban on same-sex marriage, were the first pair to be married following the action by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. State Attorney General Kamala Harris married the couple in a ceremony at City Hall.

City Hall will also be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. City officials said it would be open Sunday as well.  This is Gay Pride Week in the City with more than a million people expected to come to the parade on Sunday. The timing of the court ruling and the pride weekend is expected to make San Francisco City Hall the backdrop for dozens if not hundreds of weddings this weekend. 

Elsewhere in the Bay Area, Alameda County's clerk's office was staying open until 5:30 p.m., an hour later than usual, although no couples had come in as of about 4:30 p.m., said Assistant Clerk-Recorder Matthew Yankee.

Santa Clara County Clerk-Recorder Regina Alcomendras said her office closed on schedule at 4:30 p.m. because no couples came in. "We were trying to watch and see if there were any same-sex couples," Alcomendras said. She said her office will make up to 27 windows available on Monday to issue wedding licenses."We're expecting a very busy day come Monday," she said.

San Mateo County Clerk's Office is staying open until 6 p.m. tonight, but as of 5 p.m. no one had come by for a same-sex marriage license, a clerk employee said. The office is prepared for a flurry of appointments next week and is bringing in extra staff who are authorized to perform the ceremonies.

In Sonoma County, Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Bill Rousseau said his office is gearing up to "hopefully start" Monday to perform marriages and issues licenses to same-sex couples. No marriages were occurring today with the office closing at 5 p.m., but Rousseau said there have been "a lot of calls" this afternoon from people making wedding appointments for next week. Weddings will start on Monday as well in Contra Costa County, which received more than a dozen calls asking when same-sex marriage licenses would be available before the office closed at 4:30 p.m. today, clerk-recorder services manager Frederick Garcia said.

The office in Martinez will be open for weddings at 9 a.m. Monday and takes both appointments and walk-ins, Garcia said.

An outgoing message at the Solano County Assessor-Recorder's office said the offices were already closed as of 4:15 p.m.

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