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Demand for same-sex marriage licenses has been so great that on Sunday officials turned away hundreds of gay and lesbian couples lined up outside City Hall, saying they simply didn't have the time or resources to meet all the requests.

San Francisco authorities calculated they could process 400 licenses during special weekend hours — but on Saturday they granted 600 licenses and performed 270 weddings by late afternoon. Then officials gave numbers to 320 couples securing them places in line for Sunday.

After quickly distributing another 80 numbers Sunday morning, disappointed couples lined up around the block were asked to return Monday.

"We're at capacity right now," said Mabel Teng, the official who oversees marriage licenses for city government. "We normally do about 20-30 couples a day. We're doing about 50-60 an hour."

Many couples stayed in line despite instructions from city officials, hoping to receive numbers for Monday.

"It's a major disappointment," said Jill Kasofsky, 40, who had lined up with spouse-to-be Cynthia Juno, 45, at 8:15 a.m. after driving up from Los Angeles. "I'm thinking about coming back at midnight to sleep on the sidewalk. I'm sure I won't be alone."

Couples from even farther away said they were ready to stay in town for as long as it took.

"Mentally, we came prepared to camp out if we had to," said Mike Fry, 43, who flew out Saturday from Minneapolis with George Hamm, 44, his partner of 20 years.

In a controversial challenge to both legal and social convention, San Francisco officials began issuing same-sex licenses and officiating at City Hall marriages on Thursday. The city has gone out of its way to provide the services — City Hall is normally closed on Sundays.

Not everyone, however, felt the joy.

Attorney Robert Tyler, acting for a group that opposes gay marriage, went to court to stop the weddings but the judge refused, at least until another hearing on Tuesday.

He calls the weddings "municipal anarchy."

"No one made the mayor of San Francisco king; he can't play God. He cannot trash the vote of the people," Randy Thomasson, director of the Campaign for California Families, said at a news conference in Los Angeles.

Aside from the lawsuits, the newly married couples may face other obstacles. After a marriage license is recorded by county officials, it is sent to the state Office of Vital Records. A ballot initiative approved by voters in 2000 said the state would only recognize marriages between a man and a woman.

San Francisco officials have insisted the licenses they have handed out are legally binding, although they are revised to be "gender-neutral." But a deputy city attorney acknowledged that the state may not accept them.

CBS News correspondent Vince Gonzales reports, "The licenses make it tougher for gay marriage opponents - who may now have to prove couples who sought and obtained a legal commitment for life broke the law."

The issue returns to court Tuesday, when judges will hear separate requests from advocates of traditional marriage to void the licenses and order the city to stop giving them out.

The two organizations argue that the licenses violate state law, which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. San Francisco officials counter that they are legally binding documents that take a swipe at discrimination against same-sex couples.

By the end of Sunday, San Francisco officials expected to have inked well over 1,000 same-sex marriage licenses in four days.

San Francisco officials have insisted the licenses they have handed out are legally binding, although they are revised to be "gender-neutral." But a deputy city attorney acknowledged that the state may not accept them.

San Francisco appears to be the first city in the nation to officially support same-sex marriage licenses; city clerks in Arizona and Colorado in 1975 issued licenses to gay and lesbian couples that were later revoked or declared void.

Emboldened by the prospect of the nation's first legal same-sex marriages in Massachusetts, gay couples went to courthouses around the nation Thursday and Friday to demand the right to marry. They were quickly turned away.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that it is unconstitutional to bar gay couples from marriage. Under the decision, the nation's first legally sanctioned gay marriages are scheduled to begin in mid-May.

Massachusetts lawmakers are proposing a constitutional amendment that would define marriage a union between one man and one woman, and the Legislature resumes its deliberations of amendments on March 11.

Some American couples headed to Toronto Saturday, where gay marriage is legal.

"Canada as a country is more accepting and tolerant, we didn't give it a second thought," said Robin Hanson, a St. Louis doctoral student who was marrying her girlfriend Susan Levin.

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