LA County Clerk preps for same-sex marriage rush

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Unless a federal appeals court rules otherwise, a stay on same-sex marriages in California will expire on Wednesday. For couples in a rush to get married, the Norwalk Courthouse will be the only Los Angeles County Registrar’s office open after 5:00 p.m. Wednesday.

In anticipation of a massive turnout, the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder is planning how to accommodate couples on Wednesday night without driving his department’s budget through the roof.

The last time the state Supreme Court briefly allowed same-sex marriage, L.A. County Registrar-Recorder Dean Logan says his seven district offices issued 2,400 licenses and performed 1,400 ceremonies in about 10 business days. He has no idea how many people will turn up Wednesday night for the three-hour window between 5 and 8 p.m..

“I think we just have to be prepared,” said Logan.

Logan is taking a creative approach to staffing, so he doesn't break the bank. He plans on calling on volunteers to perform civil wedding ceremonies instead of paying overtime to a half-dozen window clerks.

“You know," Logan says, "we also may look at off shifting them that day, so that they work a different work shift.”

Logan also plans to lift the appointment requirement for civil marriage ceremonies and perform them first come-first served. He says it’ll make practical sense to stay open late Wednesday night. That gets the first wave of people who’ll want to marry out of the way during off-peak hours — and possibly brings in some cash for L.A. County.

Marriage licenses cost $90 and civil wedding ceremonies are $25 more.