Marriage Finally Legal For All In California

Friday, June 28, 2013
Debi Farber Bush, Todd Larsen and Jean Doran at Wednesday's Prop 8/DOMA celebration in Eureka.

Debi Farber Bush, Todd Larsen and Jean Doran at Wednesday’s Prop 8/DOMA celebration in Eureka.

Eye Staff Report

SAN FRANCISCO – Moving quickly to restore marriage rights in the wake of Wednesday’s U.S. Supree Court decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has lifted its stay on same-sex marriages. Marriage licenses may be issued immediately to same-sex couples wishing to tie the knot.

“I am thrilled that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay to allow same-sex couples to legally marry in California,” said Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. “Gay and lesbian couples have waited so long for this day and for their fundamental right to marry. Finally, their loving relationships are as legitimate and legal as any other.”

Governor Brown Directs California Department of Public Health to Notify Counties that Same-Sex Marriages Must Commence

SACRAMENTO – At the direction of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., the California Department of Public Health has notified clerks and registrar/recorders in all 58 California counties that same-sex marriage is now legal in California and that marriage licenses must be issued to same-sex couples immediately.

Today’s action follows the Governor’s directive to the California Department of Public Health after Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

Update: A letter sent today to county officials from the California Department of Public Health:


On June 28, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dissolved the stay of the order enjoining enforcement of Proposition 8.  As explained in the notice dated June 26, 2013, this order applies to all 58 county clerks and county recorders.  This means that same-sex marriage is again legal in California.

Effective immediately, county clerks shall issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California.

People who are currently in a State Registered Domestic Partnership (SRDP) may be issued a marriage license if the parties to the SRDP and the parties to the marriage are the same (Family Code Section 298.5) and the parties are not already legally married to one another in another jurisdiction.

Same-sex couples legally married in another jurisdiction will be considered already legally married under California marriage licensing and certification laws and they should not be issued a new marriage license.  Family Code sections 301, 302, and 500 allow only unmarried persons to marry in California.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact the Birth and Marriage Registration Section at (916) 445-8494.

Tony Agurto, MPA

State Registrar

Assistant Deputy Director

Health Information and Strategic Planning