Skip to comments.No valentine for same-sex couple
Posted on 02/14/2006 4:33:50 PM PST by SmithL
MARTINEZ - County clerk-recorder's officials denied a marriage license to a same-sex couple in Martinez this morning.
"They came in right at the stroke of 8 and had a picket sign asking for the right," said office manager Tanya Gutierrez. "They just wanted to bring attention to that fact that it's not equal."
Gutierrez said the two women "were pretty satisfied with my answer as far as it not being legal. Certainly if it were to become lawful, we'd be happy to issue a license. We are sensitive to the public in regard to this issue."
She said the couple didn't indicate an interest in domestic partnership, which she said is not requested frequently.
County Clerk-Recorder Steve Weir, contacted at midday, said he was aware that same-sex couples might show up at the recorder's office or at the Board of Supervisors, which has not taken a stance on the issue. Last year, Weir gave at least one couple a copy of the state code dealing with marriage and offered domestic-registry forms.
"They wanted to make a case of that and I respected that," said Weir. "I told them I'd like to get a license myself."
Weir's registered domestic partner is still healing from knee-replacement surgery, so they may have to settle for a quiet evening at home with the 18 ruby-red roses Weir picked up Monday in town.
Gutierrez said the county clerk's office has a civil ceremony scheduled every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for legal unions.
"We have 22 couples scheduled," Gutierrez said. "We will take walk-ins, but it would have to be within the folks already scheduled."
Gutierrez said the office asked people who inquired beforehand to fill out paperwork in advance. "It would take approximately 20 to 25 minutes to issue a marriage license, and that wouldn't make for a very smooth day."
Rooms for nuptial ceremonies are decorated with discounted floral arrangements from a downtown flower shop near the clerk's office. Flowers will also be given to would-be husbands and wives.
"One of our staff members made little wedding favors to give out to the couples," Gutierrez said. "It's a happy day, a good day for staff, kind of a boost for morale. Today you're not your normal public servant."
Matrimonially minded couples should bring a valid government-issued photo ID, at least one witness and $64. Blood tests are not necessary. If either person in a couple has been divorced within the past 12 months, a copy of that final judgment is necessary.
Five more dollars gives couples a confidential marriage license not open for public inspection. Gutierrez said that option is popular with law enforcement personnel and the occasional movie star.
To obtain a confidential license, or if either party is a juvenile, call a staff member at 925-646-2360.
They were happy with the clerks answer and went off home to eat.