County clerk will stop performing all weddings
Posted on June 7, 2008
Filed Under Gay News Blog
Wedding bells won’t ring in the Kern county clerk’s office for any couples — gay or straight — after June 13, local officials said Wednesday after the California Supreme Court refused to stay its decision legalizing same-sex marriage.
The office will issue same-sex marriage licenses beginning June 17 as state law requires but will stop solemnizing weddings due to lack of staff and space, Auditor-Controller-County Clerk Ann Barnett announced in a news release Wednesday evening.
“Because of long-term administrative plans, budgetary reasons, and the need to increase security for elections, the Clerk’s office will cease solemnizing weddings, which is discretionary on the part of the County Clerk,” the release said. “As done in other counties, information necessary to solemnize marriages will be made available to those acquiring licenses.”
County Counsel Bernard Barmann said he expects a “landslide” of same-sex couples to come forward for weddings June 17.
The state Supreme Court announced Wednesday it would not stay its ruling legalizing same sex-marriage in California. Several conservative religious and legal organizations asked the court to do so until voters decide the issue via a ballot measure Nov. 4.
Counties are set to issue marriage licenses to gay couples in fewer than two weeks.
Julie Poochigian, chief deputy clerk-recorder of Tulare County, said her office plans to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting June 17. She said the office has never performed wedding ceremonies for couples.
“Some other counties do that, but Tulare County does not,” she said. “We are not staffed to perform the services.”
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