CA Gay Marriages Could Start in June

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Same-sex marriages could officially begin in California as soon as June 14.

That's when the state will allow county clerks to hand out marriage licenses. In some counties, gay couples could obtain their licenses and exchange vows just after midnight.

Earlier this month, the state's supreme court ruled 4-3 against a popular marriage act passed by voters in 2000. California voters overwhelmingly passed the Defense of Marriage Act, or Proposition 22, by more than 61 percent.

The state is planning to advise all of its 58 counties this week, so local officials can start planning.

"We will be getting guidance out to the counties soon," Suanne Buggy, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Public Health, said.

Each county clerk will decide whether to open their offices to gay and lesbian couples on that Saturday, or to wait until the following Monday.

However, efforts are under way to stop gay marriages from starting that day. Marriage defense groups have called on the court to stay their decision until voters can decide the issue.

A November ballot is planned to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. If approved by voters, the measure would overrule the justices' decision.

The judges have at least until the ruling's effective date to weigh the request.

Another complicating factor is that the Supreme Court also directed a midlevel appeals court that upheld the state's one man-one woman marriage laws a year ago to issue a new order legalizing same-sex marriage.

It's not clear when the appeals court would comply.

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press

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