California Starts Offering Marriage For Gays

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Monday becomes only the second state in the nation after Massachusetts to allow gays to get married.

Last month’s ruling by the state Supreme Court kicks in at 5:01 p.m. Pacific time.

Some counties will be keeping their clerk’s offices open late to accommodate same-sex couples eager to legalize their unions.

Among the first to wed will be Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin. Martin is 87 and Lyon is 84 and they’ve been a couple for more than a-half century. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom will perform their marriage at City Hall, honoring them for their long relationship and as pioneers of the gay rights movement.

Back in the ’50s when they met, “gay” was a kind of secret code word. A real lesbian could get arrested, fired from her job and even committed for electroshock treatment if caught dancing with another woman at a bar.

A close friend says Lyon and Martin have been committed to the idea that people in committed relationships deserve to have those relationships respected.