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    Posted August 16, 2010 by
    sacramento, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Judge strikes down Prop 8

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    Plans Move Ahead for Same-Sex Weddings Wednesday


    The judicial clock is ticking down towards Judge Vaughn Walker’s   Wednesday, August 18th, 5:00pm lift of the stay in the Federal Prop 8   Trial.

    In  the event that the temporary stay is lifted and once again,  same-sex  couples are allowed to apply for a marriage license, the  leadership of  Equality Action Now and the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian  Center will host  Wedding Ceremonies on the West Steps of the California  State Capitol  Building beginning as soon as the first couples arrive  from the  Sacramento County Clerks Office.
    Same-sex  couples and their supporters all across the state have been  on an  emotional roller coaster; first in anticipation of the initial  ruling  in the case then jubilation when Prop 8 was struck down. Almost   immediately a huge letdown happened as a temporary stay was put into   place. Once again anticipation reigns supreme with same sex couples that   are prepared to join the 18,000 who have already legally married.

    One  thing is a clear, ProtectMarriage.com and other proponents of   Proposition 8 who stepped in the place of the State to take the case to   the Federal Court will be relentless and will spare no cost in finding a   way to convince the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth   Circuit, or even the Supreme Court to place a permanent stay. Their goal   is to keep same-sex marriages from taking place until a decision is   made in the higher court. That decision could take as long as two years.

    If  a permanent stay is put into place, Wendy Rae Hill, Executive  Director  of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center explained, “Same-sex  couples  will continue to suffer the indignity of being considered  second-class  citizens and we and our families will continue to be  without the same  rights and protections legally married couples have.  Ether way those  who are currently legally married suffer no consequences  what-so-ever”.

    Putting  all the legal wrangling aside, Enrique Manjarrez, a volunteer  with  Equality Action Now says, “Thinking positively, our organization,  along  with the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center and several other   individuals in the community are planning a memorable wedding ceremony   for any couple who wish to be one of the first in the State to legally   marry after last weeks landmark decision by the Federal Court. There   will not be a mass ceremony”.

    Couples  who wish to participate will have the opportunity to take  their vows  on the West Steps of the California State Capitol. They may  use their  own marriage officiate or one of several Ministers of local  churches  who have stepped up and offered their services. Depending on  their  schedules, several legislators have also indicated they would be  happy  to step out of the Capitol to perform civil ceremonies.

    In  checking with the Downtown Sacramento County Clerk's Office, a   representative said if the stay is lifted, they intend to stay open   after their usual closing time of 5:00pm. At 5:00pm they will issue only   same-sex marriage licenses until 8:00pm. The official said they would   process those couples that made a reservation ahead of any walk-ins.   Reservations are full for Wednesday and Thursday and filling quickly for   Friday.


    The  Capitol Marriage Ceremony Coordinator is asking help from the   community and from local businesses who stand to have an increase in   their business to donate their time, products, and services to make   Wednesday a special day for all same-sex couples who plan to marry. The   community is encouraged to attend to support those who are getting   married. If you would like to participate and marry Wednesday evening at   the State Capitol contact Enrique Manjarrez by calling the Sacramento   Gay and Lesbian Center at 916-442-0185.

    Press Release | Ken Pierce

    Photos | Kati Garner

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