Same-Sex Couples Snap Up Civil Union Licenses In U. City

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Already today, three U. City couples have formalized their domestic partnerships at City Hall.
Already today, three U. City couples have formalized their domestic partnerships at City Hall.

Margaret Johnson laughed on the phone this morning with Daily RFT as she discussed her newly granted civil union license. Johnson and her partner arrived at the clerk's office in University City ten minutes before 8 a.m., when the office was to begin granting licenses -- and discovered they were already the second in line.

So far this morning, three same-sex couples have been granted licenses for their civil unions. The process takes only around ten minutes from the beginning to the finish line, a pittance compared to the 25 years Johnson and her partner have already spent together.

When the two arrived at the office, they signed paperwork saying they adhere to the rules for domestic partnerships in the city, watched the documents be notarized by city clerk Joyce Pumm and came away with a license in less time than it takes to travel on Skinker in this period of construction.

But Johnson says they don't really need the license.

"We did it as a political act," says Johnson, who spoke out at both U. City council meetings in which the licenses were discussed. "I don't really think our partnership needs to be legitimized by the city, state or anyone."

She adds, "It's a step. It's not as much as we hoped, but it's an important step."

The male couple that beat Johnson and her partner for the first spot in line has been together 48 years. Although the total number of licenses finalized so far this morning is lower than city clerk Pumm had expected, she predicts that there will be more this afternoon.

"It's all done in one swift process," Pumm says. "It's surprising how quick it happens."

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