Couple marries in California after long struggle with courts

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Sandy Stier and Kris Perry married Friday after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Wednesday to end the ban on same-sex marriage in California.

A day after the Berkeley-based plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case were married at San Francisco Hall, after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the ban on gay marriage, the two found their marriage in jeopardy.

Typically, a grace period exists between the Supreme Court’s final ruling and implementation, but in this case, the 9th circuit court acted almost immediately to enact same-sex marriage just two days after the Supreme Court’s ruling on Proposition 8, causing an emergency appeal filed on behalf of the Prop. 8 legal team.

The appeal was filed after the California Department of Public Health released a letter directed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the clerks and registrar and recorders of the 58 counties of California that “effective immediately, county clerks shall issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California.”

A Protect Marriage press release brought up the lack of a 25-day waiting period: “under Supreme Court procedural rules, ‘final disposition’ comes when the Supreme Court issues a ‘mandate’ to the Ninth Circuit, at least 25 days after announcing its opinion in the case.”

According to the press release, this immediate action of the decision did not allow time for petitions for the Supreme Court to rehear the case.

On Sunday, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy struck down the appeal, and Stier and Perry’s union will stand after more than four years of legal entanglement for the right to marry in California. Their marriage, witnessed by hundreds of enthusiastic onlookers, is finally legal.

With that final blockade to the marriage of Sandy and Kris gone, more celebration and happiness is sure to abound in the Perry household, according to their son Spencer Perry.

“It never occurred to me that I would feel any different after my parents got married,” Spencer said. “I can only describe how I’m feeling now as patriotic: I feel more connected to my country after this decision.”

Contact Nico Correia at [email protected]