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Same-sex couples to seek licenses

At least four Nevada County same-sex couples have plans to head to the Rood Administrative Center at 3 p.m. today to apply for civil marriage licenses.

The couples will be accompanied by several supporters of marriage equality, including family members and friends, said Christine Allen, leader of the local chapter of Equality California, a nonprofit organization devoted to educating others about the issue.

The event, known as the “Get Engaged Tour 2006” is the culmination of a statewide month-long movement to raise awareness about marriage equality. Teams traveling throughout the state for the entire month of February, or “Freedom to Marry” month.



The event falls on Valentine’s Day, exactly two years after San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom made history and defied state law by legalizing gay marriage. Allen and her partner of more than 20 years, Ann Brown, traveled to San Francisco to be married just days after they learned the news that Valentine’s Day in 2004.

In 2005, the two were the only couple who applied for licenses.




“We spent last Valentine’s Day at the Rood Center and we intend to be there each year until they can issue us a license,” Allen said. “We have a large extended family who are directly affected by our inability to access the law as equal citizens due to marriage discrimination.”

Other couples who plan to apply for licenses today include Dian Schaffhauser and Shelley Doyle; and Steve Dryburgh and Rick Gulart. Schaffhauser and Doyle will be accompanied by their 3-year-old son, Kit.

“My sweetheart and I, who have been paying a mortgage together for 11 years, who are raising a child together, still can’t walk up the stairs at the Rood Center to the County Recorder’s office, pay our fees, say, ‘I do’ and have it be legally valid. That’s just plain wrong, and I’m tired of it,” Schaffhauser stated in a press release.

“Nothing is more vital to legitimizing freedom and liberty than respecting the fundamental civil rights of all of a nation’s citizens,” Dryburgh said.

Community members who support marriage equality are invited to join the group at the Rood Administrative Center. Allen said the group then plans to head out to dinner.

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To contact staff writer Brittany Retherford, e-mail brittanyr@theunion.com or call 477-4247.

WHAT: Get Engaged Tour 2006

WHEN: 3 p.m. today

WHERE: Nevada County Recorder’s office in the Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City

INFORMATION: Contact team captain Brandon Metcalf at (916) 534-5221 or Christine Allen at 272-1535. To learn more about Equality California, visit at http://www.eqca.org online


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