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Same-Sex Marriages Keeping Santa Clara County Officials Busy

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) - Santa Clara County was gearing up for another week of same-sex marriages days after what is believed to be the county's busiest day ever for issuing marriage licenses, officials said.

On Friday, the county issued marriage licenses to nearly 150 couples, including 27 gay or lesbian couples, according to County Supervisor Ken Yeager.

On a typical day, the county issues about 35 marriage licenses, county officials said.

"It has been my honor to perform marriages for so many loving couples this week," Yeager said. "Many of them have waited years for the opportunity to be married."

Yeager married 41 same-sex couples last week, with many opting for express marriage ceremonies, allowing them to marry the same day they received their marriage licenses, county officials said.

The quicker marriage option launched last Monday, following the June 28 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to dissolve a stay on U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's injunction against enforcing Proposition 8, an initiative passed by California voters in 2008 that banned same-sex marriages.

The county Clerk Recorder's Office set up the express marriage option in anticipation of the rising demand for marriage licenses.

With express marriages, couples can walk in, purchase a marriage license and have their ceremony performed at a service window for a $110 fee, plus an additional $10 witness fee.

Couples can also opt for the standard marriage license and civil ceremony for $79.

County officials say they are working to accommodate the high demand for marriages by opening the express window early at the clerk recorder's office and opening two additional chapel facilities.

Ceremonies can be scheduled for weekdays between 8 a.m. and 3:40 p.m.

The wedding chapel holds 22 people and is located on the lower level of the county offices at 70 W. Hedding St.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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