Kern County to issue same-sex marriage licenses when legal

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Kern County will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples once the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifts its stay on a 2010 ruling that deemed Proposition 8 unconstitutional.

However, when that day will come is still unclear.

"No one knows an exact date," said Susan Rooney, Kern County assistant clerk. "The 9th District Court will have to issue an order, in order for county clerks and recorders to issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples."

It will take 25 days before the Supreme Court's decision will become official, which allows supporters of Prop 8, the 2008 voter-approved state ban of gay marriage, time to ask the high court to re-hear the case.

Until then, Rooney said the county, which received multiple calls Wednesday regarding the issue, must wait.

"This office is fully prepared to issue marriage licenses," she said. "And, in fact, has issued them before when it was legal in the state of California. So we are prepared to do so if the 9th Circuit issues that order."

California Attorney General Kamala Harris said that all counties must comply with this pending ruling or face legal action.

Speaking at a news conference in Los Angeles, Harris said she has requested the appellate court to accept the Supreme Court ruling before the 25-day mark.

"We cannot delay or deny individuals their civil rights," Harris said. "I urge the 9th Circuit to lift the stay as quickly as possible."

Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday that he has directed the state's Department of Public Health to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples once the federal appellate court accepts the higher court's ruling.