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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Judge Refuses to Halt Gay Weddings - But Don't Celebrate Yet

Posted By on Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 12:55 PM

click to enlarge Rod Wood and Roger Hunt, ready to wed. - THOM WATSON AND JEFF TOBACO IN THEIR MATCHING SUITS.
  • Thom Watson and Jeff Tobaco in their matching suits.
  • Rod Wood and Roger Hunt, ready to wed.
UPDATE (12:45 pm): Hold everything. Now we're told that the judge's ruling doesn't go into effect until Aug. 18. There's a press conference being held now to explain the ramifications of the latest decision. We'll update you when we know more.  

UPDATE (12:30 pm): US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker has declined to stay his ruling overturning Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiated that banned gay marriage in California. That means same-sex couples who went to City Hall today will be able to wed could be able to wed next week.

The announcement was met with cheers, hugs, and tears.

"My initial reaction ... was complete joy," said Thom Watson, who was in line to marry his partner, Jeff Tabaco. "I don't even want to think about what's next. We're getting married. But the fight is still raging, not just here, but all over the United States. We don't want to take this for granted."

Coverage From Earlier Today:

Same-sex couples gathered at San Francisco City Hall this morning hoping to get hitched, but prepared to go home without a marriage certificate. U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker is expected to announce whether he will stay his ruling overturning Prop. 8 before noon today.

"I'm trying to remain calm about the whole thing," says Rod Wood, who was first in line outside the clerk's office with his partner of seven years, Roger Hunt. "I'll be very happy if I'm able to get married, but I don't want to be devastated and totally bummed out if not. Eventually, it will happen."

As of 10:15 a.m., there were nine gay couples at City Hall hoping to wed today (and only one wearing matching clothes -- tan suits with kelly green shirts), according to SF Weekly's online news editor, Joe Eskenazi, who is on the scene.

  • Thom Watson and Jeff Tobaco in their matching suits.
One of those couples was a pairing of professional rivals: Sean Bruich, who works at Facebook, and Laurence Moore, a Googler. 

"It's funny that so many people have so many opinions about our lives, about whether I can marry Laurence," Bruich says.

Moore sounded pessimistic about whether he and Bruich would be able to marry today, but he's optimistic about his chances down the road. "If it's not in 20 minutes, it'll be a year or two," he says.

About half a dozen gay-marriage opponents are also at City Hall. One held a sign saying, "Pervert judge, pervert ruling."

click to enlarge rsz_stay_on_prop_8_part_one_023.jpg

We'll keep you updated as we learn more.

Interviews and field reporting done by Joe Eskenazi. 



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