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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Demand for same-sex marriage licenses so great some couples turned away

SAN FRANCISCO – Demand for same-sex marriage licenses has been so great that on Sunday officials turned away hundreds of gay and lesbian couples lined up outside City Hall, saying they simply didn’t have the time or resources to meet all the requests.
San Francisco authorities calculated they could process 400 licenses during special weekend hours – but on Saturday they granted 600 licenses and performed 270 weddings by late afternoon. Then officials gave numbers to 320 couples securing them places in line for Sunday.
After quickly distributing another 80 numbers Sunday morning, disappointed couples lined up around the block were asked to return Monday.
”We’re at capacity right now,” said Mabel Teng, the official who oversees marriage licenses for city government. ”We normally do about 20-30 couples a day. We’re doing about 50-60 an hour.”
Many couples stayed in line despite instructions from city officials, hoping to receive numbers for Monday.
”It’s a major disappointment,” said Jill Kasofsky, 40, who had lined up with spouse-to-be Cynthia Juno, 45, at 8:15 a.m. after driving up from Los Angeles. ”I’m thinking about coming back at midnight to sleep on the sidewalk. I’m sure I won’t be alone.”
Couples from even farther away said they were ready to stay in town for as long as it took.
”Mentally, we came prepared to camp out if we had to,” said Mike Fry, 43, who flew out Saturday from Minneapolis with George Hamm, 44, his partner of 20 years.
In a controversial challenge to both legal and social convention, San Francisco officials began issuing same-sex licenses and officiating at City Hall marriages on Thursday. The city has gone out of its way to provide the services – City Hall is normally closed on Sundays.
The decision prompted two conservative groups to press for court intervention. But on Friday a judge allowed the weddings to continue through the weekend.
The issue returns to court Tuesday, when judges will hear separate requests from advocates of traditional marriage to void the licenses and order the city to stop giving them out.
The two organizations argue that the licenses violate state law, which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. San Francisco officials counter that they are legally binding documents that take a swipe at discrimination against same-sex couples.

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