State: Gay Marriage Will Begin on June 17th in California

** FILE ** In this May 15, 2008, file photo, Sharon Papo, left, and her partner Amber Weiss fill out paperwork as they apply for an appointment for a marriage license at the county clerks office at City Hall in San Francisco. In court papers submitted Thursday, May 22, 2008, a conservative legal group asked the California Supreme Court to stay its decision legalizing same-sex marriage until November, when voters are likely to encounter a ballot measure would amend the state's constitution to ban gay marriage. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)
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San Francisco (AP) California officials are telling county clerks that they can start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on June 17th.

The state office of vital records says it chose June 17th because the state supreme court has until the end of business on June 16th to decide whether to grant a stay of its ruling
legalizing gay marriage.

Gay rights advocates and some clerks initially thought couples would be able to wed as early as June 14 exactly 30 days after the court's May 15th ruling.

New marriage license forms also will include lines for “Party A” and “Party B” instead of bride and groom.