Friday, June 6, 2008

S.F. Church Offering To Marry Same Sex Couples Free of Charge for a Limited Time

With the state Supreme Court's historic decision allowing same sex couples to marry expected to go into effect on June 17th, appointments to be married at San Francisco City Hall are already completely booked from the 17th through July 15, according to the County Clerk's office.

Disappointed couples may not need to wait, however.

For those who would like to get married in the city as soon as possible, San Francisco's Swedenborgian Church is offering an alternative, church pastor Rev. Dr. Rachel Rivers announced today.

For a limited time beginning June 17th, couples may be married without charge at its beautiful Arts & Crafts style church at the corner of Lyon and Washington streets. "We want to help celebrate this momentous and long awaited opportunity," Dr. Rivers explained. "The San Francisco Swedenborgian Church has opened its doors for same sex couples to celebrate their commitment to one another in the church since receiving its first request in the early 1990s. Now, the church community and I are thrilled that we can participate legally, as well as spiritually, in celebrating these commitments of love."

The church is offering to perform ceremonies on five days in June:June 17, 18, 19, 25 and 26. In order to accommodate as many couples as possible, ceremonies will be kept short and simple, with a limit of 12 guests. While there is no charge, appointments are necessary.

To schedule a wedding or for more information, couples may call the Swedenborgian Church at 415-346-6466, extension 10.

For the marriage to be legal, the couple needs to bring a public marriage license obtained from any county in California. (Although appointments to obtain a marriage license at San Francisco City Hall are booked from June 17 ­- 30, marriage licenses may be obtained from surrounding counties; contact the specific counties for availability.)

The Swedenborgian Church bases its teachings on the Bible as illuminated by the works of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a Swedish scientist and theologian.

For further information about the church, go to our website at:

For up to date information on appointments at San Francisco City Hall, go to: