First California lesbian wedding, after ban lifted



SAN FRANCISCO- A lesbian couple who challenged a ban on same-sex marriage in California wed on Friday, becoming the first to do so shortly after a court lifted the 2008 ban.
Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier were married to cheers at San Francisco City Hall, in a ceremony conducted by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who said: "I now declare you spouses for life."



"I could not be more honored to stand here today to join the two of them in marriage," Harris said, before the couple exchanged rings and vows in front of a hastily-assembled gathering.
The ceremony came only an hour or two after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco lifted the ban on same-sex marriages, imposed under the so-called Prop 8 ballot measure, with immediate effect.
The US Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to rule on an appeal to a lower court's overturning of Prop 8, allowing the measure to be struck down.
Many observers thought it could be several weeks before marriages would resume in the famously liberal western US state.
Perry and Stier were the plaintiffs in the initial action challenging Prop 8, which wound its way through the legal system before eventually being heard by the top US court in Washington, DC.
The Supreme Court ruled that supporters of Prop 8 lacked the proper standing to appeal a lower-court judgment that declared the measure unconstitutional.
The ruling essentially allowed the original federal court ruling to stand, striking down Prop 8.
Supporters of Prop 8 have vowed to pursue their efforts to have the ban -- backed by 52 percent of Californians five years ago, with 48 percent against -- re-enforced.
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Saturday, July 13th 2013
AFP
           


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