The legality of same-sex marriages in San Francisco has a missing persons’ problem of sorts – the lack of a “bride” and “groom.”

A state official says California will not accept thousands of marriage licenses granted to homosexual couples because the city changed the language on the official applications to delete the gender-specific terms.

“There is a statewide form that every county has to use for marriage applications,” Nicole Kasabian Evans, a spokeswoman for California Health and Human Services, told Reuters.

“If we receive application forms that are different from the single form used throughout the state, we will not accept them.”

Evans’ agency certifies all applications for marriage into state records, and she says forms using different terms would be returned to the city if San Francisco submits them.

Nancy Lafaro, director of the San Francisco County Clerk’s office, admitted several changes were made to the license applications for homosexuals.

“For example, instead of saying bride or groom, the form in San Francisco says applicant one and applicant two,” she told Reuters.

“Unmarried man” and “unmarried woman” had also been switched to “unmarried individuals.”

Meanwhile, license applications are still being issued by city officials as court challenges are on hold until Friday.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ronald Quidachay rescheduled hearing until then a motion to stop the licenses filed on behalf of the pro-family lobby group Campaign for California Families.

Quidachay said the plaintiffs had not given the city enough notice to obtain an emergency injunction.

In response to another effort to halt the same-sex wedding march, Superior Court Judge James Warren issued a non-binding cease and desist order which required city attorneys to appear at a March 29 hearing to show cause if officials chose not to comply.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called on San Francisco to abide by Proposition 22, a law which restricts marriage to heterosexual couples. The measure was approved four years ago by 60 percent of state voters.

“Californians spoke on the issue of same-sex marriage when they overwhelmingly approved California’s law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman,” he said. “I support that law and encourage San Francisco officials to obey that law. The courts should act quickly to resolve this matter.”

President Bush weighed in on the issue, saying he’s troubled by the recent sanctioning of same-sex marriages and alluded to his support for a constitutional amendment making marriage exclusively heterosexual.

“I have consistently stated that I’ll support [a] law to protect marriage between a man and a woman. And, obviously, these events are influencing my decision,” Bush said.

In an interview with the Associated Press, first lady Laura Bush said same-sex marriages are “a very, very shocking issue” for some people, and should be debated by the nation’s entire populace rather than decided by a Massachusetts court or the mayor of San Francisco.

When asked about her personal feelings on it, Mrs. Bush stated: “Let’s just leave it at that.”

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