San Diego sheriff’s deputies cuffed and removed several protesters at the County Clerk’s Office on the day that same-sex marriages were supposed to resume.
Deputies used plastic ties to cuff and remove a dozen protesters just before 10 a.m.
The group chanted “Gay, straight, black, white, marriage is a civil right!” and “David Butler, Do the right thing!” as they blocked the door to the clerk's office inside the County Administration Building.
Deputies physically stopped several protesters from trying to enter the clerk’s office, telling them they couldn’t enter without an appointment and directing them to protest in the hallway.
Three people sat in front of one door and blocked several heterosexual couples from entering. When a woman dressed in a white bridal gown was escorted into the clerk's office, some members of the crowd booed and jeered.
After deputies cuffed and removed three people from this door, the county declared it an illegal assembly and gave protesters five minutes to disperse.
When they didn’t, deputies donned riot helmets, batons and a bullhorn and zip-tied the protesters' wrists behind their backs.
One protester noted there were only six protesters remaining and questioned the cost of a hallway full of deputies in riot gear.
In what appeared to be a real-life training session for deputies, the stragglers were removed one by one to the chants “Peaceful protest, no arrests.”
The rally was planned by the San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (SAME). The protesters who were removed will be cited for failure to disperse from an unlawful assembly.
SAME rallied alongside Tony and Tyler Dylan-Hyde, one local couple who had reserved an appointment to be married after the Aug. 12 ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker lifting a stay on same-sex marriages. At the time, Walker had said marriages between same-sex couples could resume Aug. 18. Then, on Aug. 16, a federal appeals court blocked same-sex weddings in California while an appeal is being considered.
On Thursday, the couple presented a document to the county's clerk outlining why they think Monday's ruling doesn’t prohibit their marriage in San Diego and requested a meeting with legal counsel for San Diego County.
Butler explained to the Dylan-Hyde's why they couldn't be married Thursday.
"That stay legally prohibits me from moving forward," Butler said "The courts have precedent over the governor and over the AG. That's our justice system. The courts say this, they're the final say at this point."
"The stay unfortunately has stopped everything where I'm legally prohibited from issuing a license at this point," he said.
California voters passed the ban in November 2008, five months after the state Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. Walker struck it down as an unconstitutional violation of gay Californians' civil rights.
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