Some counties, such as Kern County, in California refused to allow any weddings to be held rather than allow any gay or lesbian couples to be married.
For years, Peter Storniolo told himself it was just a piece of paper. It didn't mean anything.
That changed Tuesday morning after he traded marriage vows and shared a long embrace with his partner of 19 years, high school teacher Paul Esch, in front of about 30 friends and family members.
“We never thought we needed it, but these last few days thinking about it, it's kind of weird how important it's become,” said Storniolo, 43, a woodworker who lives in Golden Hill. “Nobody can take it away. Nobody can tell us it's not there.”
Scenes of gay couples exchanging vows, rings and kisses across the state marked a watershed moment in the battle for gay equality that many compared to a 1948 state ruling that lifted the ban on interracial marriage.
County's gay marriages go off without a hitch
Earlier in the year, one of my co-workers tried to get me to sign a sheet to get the anti-gay amendment to the state constitution on the June ballot to qualify it for the November ballot. She absolutely believes that gays being able to marry is an infringement of her civil rights. Sadly, the initiative did go through and will be up for a vote in the fall. This is a widespread attitude in California and will bring out the haters in November. It could turn the state red because of an otherwise apathetic electorate.
To keep California blue, the Democratic voices need to be unified and adamant that this right will not be overturned. We need "No" votes to defeat the haters. Who is going to be a strong voice in defense of this right?
Who will defend the civil rights of these couples?
Update: And more fun pictures, courtesy of the LA Times. Plus one of my dear friends is getting married next month!