For WeHo Couples, Same-Sex Marriage Licenses and Free Ceremonies Available Monday

Wedding ringsLos Angeles County can immediately begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples although as of Friday afternoon county officials had not yet equipped all Registrar-Recorder offices to do so.

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision this morning to lift its stay on Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision overturning Proposition 8, a measure passed in a statewide referendum in 2008 that banned same-sex marriages. The court had decided to stay the decision while opponents of same-sex marriage appealed Walker’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that ProtectMarriage, sponsor of Proposition 8, had no legal standing to appeal Walker’s ruling.

The first California marriage since the Wednesday decision took place today in San Francisco. Los Angeles County’s Registrar-Recorder’s office apparently was able to open only its Norwalk branch for same-sex marriage licensing today. The City of West Hollywood is unable to issue marriage licenses, which is a county function. The Registrar-Recorder’s office closest to West Hollywood is at 9355 Burton Way in Beverly Hills. It is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. West Hollywood City Clerk Corey Schaffer said the city is working closely with the county to determine when licenses will be available for same-sex couples at other offices. Schaffer said the city also hopes to have deputized all five West Hollywood city council members as early as Monday to perform weddings. Marriages will be performed free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday (July 1) at the West Hollywood City Council chambers at Council Chambers at the West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica Boulevard. The city is offering a free shuttle service, with rides every half hour from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., from the Beverly Hills Registrar office to the council chambers where the weddings will take place.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio presided today over the wedding of Oscar winning producer Bruce Cohen (“American Beauty”) and Gabriel Catone, an art consultant. It is unclear where they obtained their marriage license.

Legal experts had expected it might take 30 to 45 days before the Court of Appeals lifted the stay. Marriage licenses in Los Angeles County can be applied for online and issued within an hour if the application is made during normal business hours. In honor of the U.S. Supreme Court decision, has created a Celebrations page where engagements and wedding announcements can be posted.

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