In 2004 San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that the the City of San Francisco would grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The first same-sex wedding to take place at City Hall was between Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. The couple, who had lived together more than 50 years, were longtime activists in the San Francisco lesbian and gay community having formed the Daughters of Bilitis, one of the first national lesbian organizations in the US in 1955.
Between February 11 and March 11 of 2004, San Francisco issued about 4000 licenses. However, A number of legal challenges were taken up and on August 24 the California Supreme Court held that the city was not authorized to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. All those who had been issued a marriage license were notified of their right to receive a refund of the $82 marriage license fee. They were also given the option to donate that fee to the Same-Sex Marriage Equal Protection Fund.
Courtesy of the San Francisco Public Library LGBTQIA Archives