Gays Rush to Tie the Knot in California

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WASHINGTON - Today is the first full day same-sex couples can legally marry in California. But while hundreds - maybe even thousands - are tying the knot, opponents are mounting an effort to ban the practice.

Now the gay marriage issue is putting some religious organizations in legal limbo.

Click the play button for an interview with Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America.

A Battle Ensues

As California prepares for a potential wave of marriage applications, a legal battle between opposing sides of the same-sex marriage debate is in full force.

"Today we can confidently say we are providing marriage equally and fairly to everyone, denying no one their right and opportunity to live their lives out loud," Mayor Gavin Newsom declared.

On Monday, at the close of business California became only the second state to legalize gay marriage. A few counties extended their hours so dozens of couples could say their "I Do's."

Eighty-seven year-old Phyllis Lyon and 83-year-old Del Martin, hailed by some as pioneers of gay rights, were among those who tied the knot.

"When we first got together, we weren't really thinking about getting married. We were just thinking about getting together. But I think it's a wonderful day," Lyon said.

But not everyone was celebrating.

Hold the Applause, Please

Julie Malaspina is with Catholics for the Common Good.

"We are not here to ruin somebody's day," she said. "We are here to uphold God's law. That's the way we feel. And we are praying - I know it sounds dumb to some people - we are praying for homosexuals."

Both sides anticipate many more will take their vows today and in the coming weeks after the California Supreme Court's recent decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

But the battle is far from over.

Californians to Cast Their Vote

In November, California voters will vote on an amendment to the Constitution that would only recognize marriages between a man and a woman.

"The only way to have full protection and to make sure the vote of the people actually remains is to put it into the Constitution itself," the California Family Council's Everett Rice said.

The California marriage amendment only needs a simple majority to pass. A recent LA Times poll shows 54-percent would support it, 35 percent say they would not, and 10 percent weren't sure how they'd vote.

In the interim, the decision has raised a number of questions regarding how it will impact religious organizations with public services, like schools, hospitals and adoption agencies.

For instance, will religious adoption services have to provide children for homosexual couples? Religious organizations will be waiting for various legal questions like that to be resolved.

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John Jessup

CBN News Washington Correspondent

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