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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Government & Elections | LGBTI / Queer
Valentines Day! Romance or Civil Disobedience?
While most folks are out buying their Valentines gifts or flowers, same sex marriage couples are out asking for the right to marry.
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," which was in violation of the current state law. However in "August 2004, the Supreme Court of California annulled the marriages that Newsom had authorized, as they conflicted with state law at that time."
So the issue was brought to the voters, and unfortunately the voters voted for Prop8 which has made same sex marriage illegal in California.
And despite the fact that one judge has ruled it unconstitutional, and it has been heard by other Federal judges, it is still illegal for tax paying same-sex marriage couples to get married in California.
So every year since August 2004 they go to the City and County Clerks office in San Francisco's City Hall on Valentines Day and request to get married. And each year since then they have been denied so they hold sit-ins until they are arrested. The sit-ins usually never disrupt other couples, but it is valuable politically because they non same sex marriage couples get a glimpse of the struggles of same sex marriage couples in California.