County of Marin - Press Releases - Proposition 8 Ruling

For Immediate Release
June 26, 2013

County Government Reacts to Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

In reaction to rulings Wednesday by the United States Supreme Court, the Marin County Clerk will begin issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples and performing their wedding ceremonies once the U.S. District Court lifts its stay on the injunction in place prohibiting gay marriage in California. That process could take a month or more, according to a memo to County clerks and recorders from the California Department of Public Health.

The Supreme Court addressed the lower courts’ ruling that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional, meaning that the 2010 federal district court’s decision is left intact and the law cannot be enforced. However, no change in the issuance of marriage licenses can occur until further notice because additional court actions are needed. Based on Wednesday’s decision in Washington D.C., the matter has been sent back to the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. 

In the memo to county officials, the California Department of Public Health said it received direction from state Attorney General Kamala Harris, who said no same-sex marriages can take place until the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issues a further order dissolving a stay of the injunction that has been in place throughout the appeal process. Harris also sent a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, and the governor released a statement.

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 Marin County 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