County of Marin - Press Releases - Same-Sex Marriage

For Immediate Release
June 28, 2013

County Clerk Prepares to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

The Marin County Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk, which handles marriage licenses, is preparing for a crowd on Monday, July 1, following the ruling in a federal appeals court to allow same-sex marriages to commence in California.

The ruling was issued Friday afternoon by the U.S. Ninth District Court of Appeals, minutes before the Marin County Clerk’s Office was closing for the day at 4 p.m. Richard N. Benson, the Marin Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk, was notified of the appeals court ruling. Minutes later, the office of Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Department of Public Health notified the Marin County Clerk’s Office that, effective immediately, clerks were directed to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. That notification officially made same-sex marriage legal in California.

“We were surprised the ruling came so quickly, but a decision has been a long time coming,” Benson said.

The Clerk’s Office opens at 9 a.m. Monday in Suite 234 in the Marin Civic Center Administration Building. Benson said he and his staff would begin issuing licenses and scheduling civil marriage ceremonies, including those requested to take place that day. In general, the process involves filling out an application, paying fees, showing a government-issue identification and scheduling a time to be married. Click here for more details.

Benson said the Clerk’s Office will prepare to accommodate as many couples as are interested in obtaining licenses and getting married Monday. Benson and his deputized staff will perform the ceremonies, which can be as short as 10-15 minutes. More details will be issued as needed Monday morning.

In reaction to ruling Wednesday by the United States Supreme Court, county clerks around California prepared to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples as soon as the appeals court lifted its stay on the injunction in place prohibiting same-sex marriage. That process was expected to take a month or more, according to a memo to County clerks and recorders from the California Department of Public Health.

In November 2008, California voters approved Proposition 8, which amended the state constitution to provide that marriage is recognized only between a man and a woman. In Marin, voters came out overwhelmingly against Proposition 8 -- 75.08 percent voted no and 24.93 votes yes, according to the Marin County Elections Office. Opponents challenged the measure, but the state Supreme Court rejected the challenge in 2009.

Instructions for marriage ceremonies and applications for marriage licenses may be obtained in person at the Clerk’s Office, Suite 234, Marin County Civic Center or online. For additional information, call the Clerk’s office at 415-473-6152.


Richard N. Benson
Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk

Marin Civic Center
Suite 234
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6152
Email: Richard N. Benson
County Clerk website