They promised to speak now and to never hold their peace before any “I do’s” were uttered at City Hall on Monday — but the few who arrived to protest the same-sex marriages could hardly be heard over the hundreds of cheering, weeping supporters.
Waving signs denouncing same-sex marriage and warning that God would deliver San Francisco a shattering earthquake for allowing gay couples to marry, about a dozen or so protesters assembled on City Hall steps one hour before city officials began awarding marriage certificates to same-sex partners.
But before they could voice any dissent, throngs of supporters swooped in to surround them, chanting “love, love, love” and singing along to various wedding tunes.
Still, the swarm of supporters of same-sex marriage didn’t deter the opposition from saying its piece.
Many in the opposition represented various religious groups from as near as the Bay Area to as far as the Midwest. One group from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., brought along teenagers as young as 15 to protest.
Despite the start of the same-sex weddings, the legal fight about gay nuptials may still continue.
The group Campaign for Children and Families had asked the 1st District Court of Appeal to overturn the California Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriages. The court decision on that appeal is still pending.
Meanwhile, Gary Kreep of the San Diego County-based United States Justice Foundation said his group filed a petition that argues the state Department of Public Health failed to hold legally required public hearings on the licenses and claims legislators must amend state marriage laws before the licenses are valid.
A hearing on the request was scheduled for this afternoon.
Same-sex marriage by the numbers
102,639: same-sex couples livingin California
51,319: predicted number of gay couples who will marry in the next three years
67,513: estimated number of same-sex couples expected to travel to California to marry
$683 million: expected spending boost same-sex weddings will bring to state during the next three years
$3.8 million: marriage license fees from resident same-sex couples
$5 million: marriage license fees from out-of-state same-sex couples
SAN FRANCISCO MARRIAGES
169: same-sex marriage license appointments in San Francisco for today
699: same-sex marriage license appointments in San Francisco through the end of June
1,670: same-sex license appointments in San Francisco through Sept. 12