The Queer Issue
Same-sex marriage has been legal in California since 5:01 p.m. on June 16, 2008. But if California voters approve an anti-gay-marriage amendment to their state constitution this November, gay marriage will be illegal in California before a single newlywed same-sex couple can celebrate their six-month anniversary.
Including any newly married gay couples from Washington State.
Unlike Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has been legal since 2004, California doesn't have a residency requirement for couples applying for marriage licenses. Which means that same-sex couples from other states can go to California, marry, and return to their home states and press for their rights. And couples are doing just that, boosting California's economy to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Back to that constitutional amendment: No one knows whether the proposed amendment to California's constitution, if passed, would undo the marriages of any same-sex couples that married in California before November. So same-sex couples who marry in California—residents or not—between now and November might wind up in legally recognized marriages. This six-month window of opportunity may encourage some same-sex couples to hurry down to California and marry while they can. And you know what they say about marrying in haste: It's a bad idea, one you'll regret.
For this year's Queer Issue, we give local couples considering a trip down to California some other things to think about. How not to get married—young, in haste, by a stranger...