U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on Saturday.
"A long line of fiancés and their families snaked out of the clerk's office" in San Francisco on Saturday, the Chronicle reports, as couples lined up to be among the first to be married now that it's legal again for same-sex couples to be get hitched in California.
On this, the first weekend since the Supreme Court ruling that let stand a lower court's decision invalidating California's Proposition 8 ban of gay marriages, it was "wedding weekend" in the city, the Chronicle declares.
KTVU-TV says that "big crowds were expected from across the state as long lines had already stretched down the lobby shortly after 9 a.m. City officials decided to hold weekend hours and let couples tie the knot as San Francisco is also celebrating its annual Pride weekend expected to draw as many as 1 million people."
City Hall plans to stay open until 8 p.m. local time on Saturday and to be open from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. local time on Sunday.
According to the Chronicle, Saturday at City Hall "some wore shorts and sneakers while others dressed in lacy white dresses and spiked heels. They carried flowers or rainbow signs or just handbags with wedding necessities, like rings. ... The ceremonies were punctuated with whoops from a joyous crowd."
Some in the line said they were anxious to be married before any more legal challenges are filed. "You have the feeling in your mind they're going to take it away on Monday, so it's like, 'Let's go!' " Petra Torri said, according to KTVU. She and her domestic partner, Antoinette Torri, were the first couple in line Saturday.
Update at 5:47 p.m. ET. Ban Sponsors Ask For Weddings To Stop:
Lawyers for the sponsors of Proposition 8 have asked the Supreme Court to stop the resumption of gay marriages, The Associated Press reports. As we said Friday, initial reports indicated licenses would not be issued in California for 25 days after the Supreme Court's ruling. But the stay was lifted just two days after the decision, with the governor's blessing. The AP adds:
"[Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Austin Nimocks] says the Supreme Court's consideration of the case is not done yet because his clients still have 22 days to ask the justices to reconsider their decision holding that Proposition 8's backers did not have legal authority to defend the ban."