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Frequently Asked Questions About Gay and Lesbian Marriage in San Diego

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Frequently Asked Questions About Gay and Lesbian Marriage in San Diego
Question: Frequently Asked Questions About Gay and Lesbian Marriage in San Diego
It was a decision that sent cultural shockwaves. On May 15, 2008, the Supreme Court of California overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, making it legal for same-sex couples to wed in the state. The four-to-three decision took effect on June 16, 2008.

Proposition 8 is a proposed constitutional amendment, whose proponents intend to override the Court's decision. Voters will decide in the Nov. 2008 election.

Until that decision happens, marriage for gay and lesbian couples is legal in San Diego. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

Answer:

What first steps do you take to be legally married in San Diego?

1. Schedule an appointment for a California marriage license at the San Diego County Clerk’s Office. Applications are available online at www.sdarcc.com and can be filled out and completed ahead of time.
2. Both individuals must appear in person with a government-issued photo ID.
3. Pay the marriage license fee.
4. Schedule a marriage ceremony within 90 days of receiving your marriage license.

What are the marriage license requirements?

* Both individuals must be at least 18 years of age.
* If either party has been divorced or filed a “Termination of Domestic Partnership” within 90 days, they must also bring the final divorce decree or termination documents with the judge’s signature and date.
* Blood tests and health certificates are not required.
* Proof of California residency is not required.

Where can we get a marriage license?

Visitors to San Diego planning to get married should contact the San Diego County Clerk’s Office at one of the following locations:

County Administration Center
1600 Pacific Highway, Room 273
San Diego, CA 92101-2480

Kearny Mesa Branch Office
9225 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92123-1160

Chula Vista Branch Office
590 Third Avenue,
Chula Vista, CA 91910-5617

San Marcos Branch Office
141 East Carmel St.
San Marcos, CA 92078

Where and when can we make a marriage license appointment?

* To schedule an appointment at the downtown office call 619-531-5088. Appointment line hours are 8am-5pm. Walk-in marriage license service will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and couples without an appointment may have a significant wait.

* To schedule an appointment at the San Marcos and Chula Vista offices call 858-505-6197. Appointment line hours are 8am-5pm.

* To schedule an appointment for Saturdays at the Kearny Mesa office call 858-505-6197. Appointment line hours are 8am-5pm.

What is the fee for a marriage license?

The fee for a regular marriage license is $50.

The fee for a confidential marriage license is $55.

The fee for a civil marriage ceremony at the Clerk’s office is $50.

For family and friends unable to attend your ceremony, Weddings on the Web are also available for an additional fee of $25.

What’s the difference between a public and confidential marriage license?

Public: You can get married anywhere in the state of California; you need at least one witness present during your ceremony, and the marriage record is made available to the public.

Confidential: You must be living together and getting married in the County where you obtained your license; no witnesses are required, and the marriage record is only available to the couple.

Who can perform our marriage ceremony?

The marriage must be performed by a qualified person (listed below) who must be at least 18 years of age:

* A priest, minister or rabbi of any religious denomination.
* A judge (active or retired), a commissioner of civil marriages (active or retired), a commissioner of a court of record (active or retired), or an assistant commissioner of a court of record.
* A friend or family member of your choice. This person can be commissioned for the day of your wedding by completing a short form and paying a $50.00 fee.

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