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February 12, 2007




Same-Sex Couples to Protest Marriage Ban



SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)  -- Protestors will line up outside a number of Bay Area County Clerks offices this Wednesday as part of an annual effort to draw attention to the fact that same-sex couples are denied marriage licenses.


In recent years Valentines Day has come to mean more to same-sex couples. Protestors plan to apply for and be denied marriage certificates in a symbolic gesture to highlight what they call a civil rights issue.


State law currently defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Democratic San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno has drafted a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Some county clerks, including Stephen Weir, personally support the bill. Weir is also the president of the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials, which recently met to consider endorsement of Leno’s bill.


"Warren Slocum, the clerk recorder in San Mateo has been asking his colleagues to support this bill and I've done so as an individual, but not in my capacity as a county clerk or as president of my association. Our position is that we stay neutral on issues that come before us as elections officials. This is a policy issue that has to be hammered out either with the people, the courts, and or the legislature," Weir told KCBS.


Weir has been in a same-sex relationship for almost 17 years, and said he hopes the day will come when he and other gay couples will be able to get a marriage certificate. But until then, all he can do is wait.


"I've taken an oath to uphold the laws of this state and so I won't be issuing a marriage license and as I've told the folks there before, if this were truly legal, and some day I hope it is, I would be the first in line to issue the first license in my county."