New and Venerable Institutions: Wedstock

08/12/04: Broken Heart but not Heartbroken. A day before their six-month wedding anniversary, Wendy Daw and Belinda Ryan learned the California Supreme Court had invalidated their union. (State Courthouse, McAllister Street.)

Wedstock: 08/12/04: The California Supreme Court ruled that Mayor Gavin Newsom exceeded his authority and unlawfully instructed city employees to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in San Francisco from Feb. 12 - March 11. Newsom, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the couples, and their supporters vowed to continue the fight for gay marriage rights in California. In a lawsuit brought against the City by California's Attorney General Bill Lockyer, the court ruled 5-2 that none of the couples was ever legally married. The court also said the City should refund the $82 license fee paid by each couple. In accepting the court's ruling Newsom said he had succeeding in "putting a face on discrimination." He encouraged every couple to share their stories with friends, relatives and neighbors. The mayor said he was undaunted in his commitment to equal justice as the push for gay marriage continues in spite of opposition on the state and federal levels. Herrera will argue the constitutional issue of discrimination in a separate case.

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