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Indybay Feature
Wed Feb 16 2011
Valentine's Day Civil Disobedience
Wed Feb 16 2011
Same-Sex Couples in San Francisco Demand the Right to Marry with Sit-In at City Hall
While many people were out buying Valentine's Day gifts or flowers, same-sex couples in San Francisco were asking for the right to marry on February 14th. It was on this day in 2004 that former Mayor Gavin Newsom directed the San Francisco city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However in August 2004, the Supreme Court of California annulled the marriages that Newsom had authorized because they conflicted with state law at the time.

So every year since 2005 same-sex couples go to the City and County Clerks' office in San Francisco's City Hall on Valentine's Day and request to get married. And each year they are denied, so they hold a sit-in until they are arrested. The sit-ins usually do not disrupt other couples, but activists see the action as politically valuable because the non-same-sex couples seeking to marry on that day get a glimpse of the struggles that same-sex couples face in California.

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