Couples continued to trickle in and out of the county clerk-recorder's office Tuesday — the first full day of same-sex marriages in California.
"We have more than 20 appointments (Tuesday) for marriage licenses and/or ceremonies," said Kevin Hing, chief clerk-recorder in Alameda County. "We normally don't even take appointments, but we knew there would be demand."
Hing said 66 marriage licenses were handed out after 5 p.m. Monday, when the county clerk-recorder's office stayed open late to accommodate people wanting to take advantage of last month's state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in California after 5:01 p.m. Monday. Hing said one of those licenses went to a heterosexual couple.
Along with the licenses, the county performed 27 wedding ceremonies in its Wedding Room in Oakland on Monday, while at Oakland City Hall, 18 same-sex marriages were performed.
Hing said that although Monday was busy with so many licenses — the recorder's office usually handles about 15 to 20 licenses a day — everything went smoothly.
"I have to say our staff here did an amazing job," Hing said. "To be able to accommodate that many people for license ... we couldn't have done it without this great staff."
The clerk-recorder's office followed up Monday's huge turnout by handing out 63 marriage licenses and performing 26 ceremonies Tuesday — with about one or two of the licenses going to heterosexual couples.
While the clerk-recorder's office was busy, it was not crowded to the point it was Monday evening. Nevertheless, some same-sex couples were on site taking advantage of their new rights.
Kathy Woofter and Maureen Hamm of Livermore said they wanted to get their marriage license on the first day the court's ruling went into effect. They said they hadn't been aware the recorder's office had special hours Monday until they saw it on the news, and said they had planned to come to Oakland on Tuesday. Woofter, who had been with Hamm for 16 years, said it was special to finally be able to get a license.
"It's very important," Woofter said. "It finally validates us as a couple."
Woofter and Hamm said they planned on being married July 18 in Livermore and will ask all at their wedding to vote against the Nov. 3 ballot initiative seeking to amend the state constitution and ban same-sex marriage.
"That's obviously an important issue," Hamm said of the initiative.
But for now, the couple said they were happy to finally be on equal footing with other couples — at least in the state's eyes.
"It's like you're finally recognized," Woofter said. "We're all equal."
Reach Chris Metinko at 510-763-5418 or firstname.lastname@example.org.