Ed Bennett & Todd Vlaanderen
On this first full day of legal same-sex nuptials in California, Sacramento's County Clerk Office opened its doors to more than 100 couples.
"By the power vested in me by the State of California, I now pronounce you husband and husband. You may kiss."
Ed Bennett and Todd Vlaanderen were the first couple to exchange vows at the County Clerk's Office Tuesday morning. Wearing matching tuxedos…the couple explained why being married is so important to them.
Bennett: "It carries a heavy weight of meaning and there is a difference between 'domestic partnership' and 'getting married'."
Vlaanderen: "Marriage is sort of the symbol of acceptance by the community and all of our lives we’ve been waiting for acceptance."
But not everyone at the County Clerk’s Offfice was accepting. A crowd of demonstrators stood outside the building holding signs protesting gay marriage.
Ronald Brock parked a truck covered in messages.
"It’s a marriage truck just stating what biblical marriage is and what’s right and what’s wrong. Okay, traditional marriage has always been in the nation until we’ve gone completely insane."
The Sacramento County Clerk’s Office has 80 ceremonies scheduled for Tuesday.
To accommodate the increased demand, the office will be open from 8 AM to 8 PM through Thursday.