Gay Couples Tie the Knot in San Francisco
Close to 200 couples participated in a ceremony Monday (3-25) to publicly acknowledge their status as domestic partners. Although the unions in the nation's first mass "gay marriage" ceremony are not recognized by state law, couples felt their gestures were symbolic to their relationships and also to members of the California Assembly where a bill is pending to outlaw same-sex marriages.
Some 3,000 couples, most same-sex, have registered as domestic partners under the city's 1991 ordinance which allows for visitation rights in hospitals, shared health plans for city employees, and bereavement leave for city workers when a partner dies. Mayor Willie Brown performed the Monday ceremony, approved by city supervisors in January, which featured a stage decorated with flowers and an American flag, and a 15-piece orchestra.
Media Resources: The Nando Net and Associate Press - March 25, 1996; Reuters - March 26, 1996