California May Offer Gay Marriage Licenses Ahead of Schedule

California officials say counties may begin issuing marriage licenses the minute after a state Supreme Court order legalizing same-sex marriage takes effect.

The Office of Vital Records advised all 58 California counties Thursday that they can begin issuing the gender-neutral licenses June 16 at 5:01 p.m. An earlier notice said clerks could make the new licenses available at the start of the business day June 17.

The licenses say "Party A" and "Party B" where bride and groom used to be.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has said he wanted to keep the clerk's office open past the close of business so gay couples could wed as soon as possible.

The vital records office is not requiring counties to remain open after business hours.