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Gay Marriage in California Begins Tonight

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Interchangeable wedding cake toppers as seen at the Renellie warehouse in Costa Mesa, CA (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The big day has arrived and today, as of 5:01 p.m., the first same-sex couples in California will be married. But like in most counties, Los Angeles County will not officially begin ceremonies until tomorrow morning. Only three counties throughout the state -- Alameda, Sonoma and Yolo -- opted keep offices open after hours to perform marriages.

However, there will be one marriage tonight in Beverly Hills: Robin Tyler and Diane Olson will be the only couple married in Los Angeles County today due to very special circumstances -- it was they who "were denied a marriage license at the Beverly Hills Courthouse [on Valentine's Day 2004] and challenged that rejection all the way to the California Supreme Court." Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, who will be the first to be married in San Francisco, also joined in on that lawsuit (they are known as the first same-sex couple to get married in U.S. history back in 2004 before the law was shot down).

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Tomorrow, West Hollywood will be ground zero for marriages as the City of West Hollywood opens a new facility for issuing marriage licenses and conducting weddings starting at 9:00 a.m. in West Hollywood Park, 647 N.
San Vicente Blvd.). Star Trek's George Takei and his partner Brad Altman are expected to be there.

Over on the steps of City Hall in downtown, Los Angeles City Council President and acting Mayor (since Villaraigosa, who plans to marry couples as well, is in Israel), Eric Garcetti, will officiate the wedding ceremony of Ms. Shane Goldsmith and Ms. Monica Granados at 9:00 a.m. Goldsmith and Granados met while they were both working as staff members in Garcetti's office.

All the official information on same-sex marriages within Los Angeles county can be found at the County Clerk's webpage.