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Same-sex couple camps overnight to become the first to get married in Butte County

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jul 01 2013 09:35:35 PM CDT
OROVILLE, Calif. -

Making Butte County history on Monday morning, the first same sex marriage was performed since two landmark Supreme Court rulings last week.

Sharie and Nanci Hernandez-Rodriguez camped overnight just to make sure they were the first same sex couple to tie the knot today in Butte County.

“When we found out, we immediately thought we are going to do it right here -- Monday -- that's it,” said Sharie.

The happy couple camped on Sunday night outside of the county clerk's office to make sure they had the first same sex marriage performed in Butte County since the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay.

“I mean we were really not expecting this," said Sharie. "We were planning a commitment ceremony in August. We just didn't expect this to happened this fast."

As with most weddings, not everything was perfect. After the doors at the clerk's office opened at 9 a.m., the couple hit a road block as their car keys and one ID were locked in the car. Luckily, Sharie’s mom had A.A.A.

After they retrieved the ID, they did something they thought would never happen.  They filled out their marriage license.

“I come from a very religious family so it was, up until now, really hard but my family is starting to understand now and I’m blessed and it feels great,” said Nanci.

They also faced another bump in the road. Butte County actually stopped doing ceremonies back in 2008 due to budget cuts, but out of pure luck, a minister was right there.

“I knew there would be a need for somebody to do gay weddings," said Reverent Lyle Cargel. "I have the opportunity [because] I’m retired."

“You know everything happens for a reason and it's just fate.  It was meant to be, is what I think. We couldn't have done it without him,” said Sharie.

Reverend Cargel married the couple in the middle of the government center.

“We could have gotten married in a dumpster as long we were married,” said Sharie.

We have been in touch with the first sex-same couple to get married since the stay was lifted in Shasta County as well, but they respectfully declined to comment.

As for Sharie and Nanci, they said they plan to have a formal wedding at their cabin in Berry Creek in late August.