Instead of performing gay marriages, California county halts all weddings |

Instead of performing gay marriages, California county halts all weddings

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Heterosexual couples are rushing to get married in a conservative California county that plans to halt all civil wedding ceremonies as gay marriage is set to be legalized.

Kern County Clerk Ann Barnett says Friday is the last day the county will perform civil weddings.

Starting Tuesday, when the California Supreme Court’s order legalizing same-sex marriage takes effect, Kern will issue new gender-neutral marriage licenses as required by law. But couples seeking to get hitched will have to go somewhere else for the ceremony.

Barnett says the increased demand for ceremonies would overwhelm her staff and pose office security risks. She made the announcement after learning she could not marry only couples of her choosing.

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