San Francisco, Calif., Jun 17, 2008 / 08:42 am America/Denver (CNA).
California went ahead with implementing its Supreme Court’s ruling on homosexual "marriages" on Monday evening. Gavin Newsom, the mayor of San Francisco, officiated over the ceremony of a lesbian couple to champion what he sees as a victory for the cause of equality.
As was announced by the Supreme Court on June 4, recognition of same-sex "marriages" went into effect at 5:01 p.m. local time. Dozens of gay and lesbian couples waited at county clerks' offices around the state seeking legal validation of their relationships.
Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, who initiated the legal battle that resulted in the state’s decision to strike down its marriage laws, presided at the ceremony of Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 84 at City Hall. The lesbian couple was selected by Newsom because of the length of their relationship (55 years) and his view that they are pioneers of the gay rights movement, according to CNN.
The ceremony took place in room full of supporters while a small group of people protested gathered outside.
Newsom, who describes himself as a Catholic, credits his activism to the "Catholic formation" he received at the Jesuit-run Santa Clara University in Northern California.