County clerks across California are clamoring for legal advice to resolve confusion about when to begin the gay-marriage ban that voters passed last week in a ballot initiative.
At least three same-sex couples have obtained marriage licenses since the Nov. 4 passage of the measure overturning the state Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.
As California wrestled with the issue, a gay-rights activist on Thursday filed a complaint accusing the Mormon church of failing to report the full value of the work it did campaigning for the ban. And nationwide, gay marriage advocates planned dozens of rallies this weekend to speak out against the Election Day setback.
Despite California Attorney General Jerry Brown's declaration that the state wouldn't recognize any gay unions after Election Day, confused clerks kept handing out licenses for days.
Complicating matters further, some couples who signed their paperwork before Nov. 4 and have yet to say "I do" will be requesting civil marriage ceremonies, gay-rights attorneys say.
County officials who inquired with Brown's office about how to handle the situation were told to ask the state's 58 county attorneys. That puts local authorities in the uncomfortable position of interpreting the law for themselves, said Merced County Clerk Stephen Jones, whose office allowed a male couple to fill out marriage forms on Nov. 5.