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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 February, 2004, 13:01 GMT
In pictures: San Francisco's gay weddings
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom stands between newlyweds Cissie Bonini (L) and Lora Pertle (R) during a reception at San Francisco City Hall
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San Francisco's new Mayor, Gavin Newsom, decided earlier this week to lift the ban on single-sex marriages in the city.
Phyllis Lyon (L) and Del Martin (R) hold up their marriage certificate
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The first couple to tie the knot were long-time lesbian activists Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin. They had been together for 51 years on Valentine's Day.
Eric Smith (front) is embraced by his partner  Mark Garrett during a reception at San Francisco City Hall
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Couples celebrated the nationally unprecedented weddings at a reception in the city hall.
Ruth Schneider (L) and Michele Johnson (R) queue to receive a marriage license
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Officials estimated that hundreds of licences were issued as couples streamed into the city hall.
Davina Koltulski (L) and Mollie McKay (R) pass through a metal detector as they make their way to obtain a marriage license
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They said they would keep marrying gays and lesbians all over the Valentine's Day weekend.
Christopher Hoffman (L) and Joshua Jacob Wiley (R) hold signs and kiss during a demonstration in favour of same-sex marriage
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The weddings in San Francisco have encouraged gay couples elsewhere in the US to demand the right to marry.
Ariel Zitoun of San Francisco, left, and other members of the Al-Sabeel Islamic group, protest against same-sex marriages outside City Hall in San Francisco
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But not everyone is in favour of single-sex marriages. A number of legal challenges are expected.






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