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    A reenactor portraying a Union soldier in the Murray's Brigade participates during ongoing activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Thursday, June 27, 2013, at Bushey Farm in Gettysburg, Pa. Union forces turned away a Confederate advance in the pivotal battle of the Civil War fought July 1-3, 1863, which was also the war�s bloodiest conflict with more than 51,000 casualties. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    A reenactor portraying a Union soldier in the Murray's Brigade participates during ongoing activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Thursday, June 27, 2013, at Bushey Farm in Gettysburg, Pa.  Union forces turned away a Confederate advance in the pivotal battle of the Civil War fought July 1-3, 1863, which was also the war�s bloodiest conflict with more than 51,000 casualties. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)A reenactor portraying a Union soldier in the Murray's Brigade participates during ongoing activities commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Thursday, June 27, 2013, at Bushey Farm in Gettysburg, Pa. Union forces turned away a Confederate advance in the pivotal battle of the Civil War fought July 1-3, 1863, which was also the war�s bloodiest conflict with more than 51,000 casualties. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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    News4's Shomari Stone spoke with two teen lifeguards who acted quickly and helped save the life of a 7-year-old boy at a Leesburg, Va. pool this week.

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    Stratford police said they are looking for this man in connection with vandalism at TD Bank. If you have information, call Detective Ray Olivia at 203-385-4143, e-mail rolivia@townofstratford.com, with the subject "Case # 13-19330" or call the confidential tips hotline at 203-375-8477.

    Stratford police said they are looking for this man in connection with vandalism at TD Bank. If you have information, call Detective Ray Olivia at 203-385-4143, e-mail rolivia@townofstratford.com, with the subject Stratford police said they are looking for this man in connection with vandalism at TD Bank. If you have information, call Detective Ray Olivia at 203-385-4143, e-mail rolivia@townofstratford.com, with the subject "Case # 13-19330" or call the confidential tips hotline at 203-375-8477.

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    MLB legend Dwight "Doc" Gooden talks about addiction, rehab, and his second book "Doc."

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    A water main on Whalley Avenue, just north of the intersection with Amity Road in the Westville section of New Haven has been repaired and road detours are no longer in place.

    The leak was in a 36-inch water main that was installed in 1909.

    Crews from the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority were excavating and preparing the site.

    The road reopened to traffic early Friday morning.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    A leaking water main is affecting the traffic in the Westville section of New Haven.A leaking water main is affecting the traffic in the Westville section of New Haven.

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    Interstate 95 is congested in both directions in Guilford because of a crash near the Goose Lane exit, exit 59.

    The crash is on the northbound side of the highway and a car flipped over.



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    This crash is on the northbound side of Interstate 95 in Guilford.This crash is on the northbound side of Interstate 95 in Guilford.

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    Police in Massachusetts have arrested a 66-year-old man accused of stabbing his estranged wife with a knife he took from his daughter’s home in Bristol, Connecticut.

    Police in Douglas, Massachusetts said they received a 911 call from North Street at 2:20 a.m. on Friday reporting a domestic disturbance involving a knife and found a 63-year-old woman who had been stabbed.

    Police said their investigation revealed that the woman’s estranged husband, Jose Antonio Rivera, had taken a knife from his daughter’s residence in Bristol, took her vehicle without permission and drove to Douglas in an attempt to reconcile with his estranged wife.

    Rivera traveled to his other daughter’s apartment, where his estranged wife was staying.

    After a brief conversation, Jose Antonio Rivera pulled the knife and tried to stab his wife in the torso, police said.

    Other family members intervened, but Jose Antonio Rivera stabbed the woman in the left
    shoulder blade, police said.

    She was transported to UMass Medical Center to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.

    Rivera was arrested and charged with assault and battery, assault with intent to murder, assault by means of a dangerous weapon on a person over 60 years old, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over 60 years old.

    Jose Antonio Rivera was scheduled to be arraigned in Uxbridge District Court on Friday.
     



    Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

    Jose Antonio Rivera is accused of stabbing his estranged wife.Jose Antonio Rivera is accused of stabbing his estranged wife.

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    The New Yorker released a cover that requires little explanation, highlighting the historic Supreme Court gay marriage ruling while tugging at America's heart.

    The image titled "Bert and Ernie's Moment of Joy" shows the "Sesame Street" duo nestled together on the couch and watching news of the Supreme Court rulings.

    Jack Hunter, the cover artist, originally submitted the image to Tumblr, unsolicited, according to the New Yorker Culture Desk. He offered a brief comment about the piece on The New Yorker site and calls the landmark ruling "a moment we can all celebrate."

    While "Sesame Street" has never publicly announced that Bert and Ernie are gay, the duo has long been regarded as such. Sesame Workshop, makers of the show, said in an email it is not commenting on the New Yorker cover.

    The historic ruling struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to gay couples who are legally married in their states, including Social Security survivor benefits, immigration rights and family leave. The decision has been celebrated by gay couples across the country.

     

     



    Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Muppets Bert, left, and Ernie, from the children's program Muppets Bert, left, and Ernie, from the children's program "Sesame Street," are shown in New York.

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    A Garden Grove, Calif., woman convicted of cutting off her ex-husband's penis with a 10-inch kitchen knife, then throwing it in a garbage disposal, was sentenced Friday to life in prison with the possibility of parole in seven years.

    Catherine Kieu, 50, was convicted in the July 2011 attack in which prosecutors said she drugged her ex-husband's meal with a sleep aid, then severed his penis with a knife after tying him to a bed. She then mutilated the penis by throwing it in the garbage disposal.

    The victim was in court for Friday's sentencing.

    "I'm hoping this will be the last time I ever have to see her," he said. "I felt some relief, and it was a very sad day for me."

    Kieu was convicted in April of aggravated mayhem -- maliciously depriving a human of a body part -- and torture. Kieu has been in custody since the attack. She received a sentence of seven years to life in prison, meaning she will be eligible for parole in seven years.

    "This was a horrible event," said John Christl, of the Orange County District Attorney's office. "In effect, the victim is going to be serving a life sentence because of what the defendant did to him. She, in turn, deserves her life sentence."

    Kieu still resided at the man's Garden Grove residence at the time. She called 911 to report a medical emergency, and responding officers found the man tied to the bed, according to investigators.

    The victim was hospitalized, but reconstructive surgery was not successful.

    "I remember the event. It's not cohesive because of the shock, the trauma, the torture," he said. "There may be a situation where I can become happy. Whole? Never."

    The judge in the case said during the sentencing phase that the "interest of justice" would not be served by granting probation.

    "In my 24 years on the bench, I've seen a number of murder cases," said Judge Richard F. Toohey. "Her actions were as calculated, as cold, as callous as any murder in the first degree."

    Prosecutors argued that Kieu refused to accept her husband's demand for a divorce and carried out the attack as part of a revenge plot. The attack occurred about two months after the husband filed for divorce.

    "I don't think she wanted to get divorced -- that's what it came down to," said the victim, identified in court documents as Glen. "As far as the reason for it,she was adamant. Maybe this is her way."

    The man made a victim's impact statement at Friday's sentencing during which he thanked prosecutors, investigators, doctors, friends and family. He said the couple had "issues," and that he did not want to force her out of the house because she was having financial problems.

    "I never saw it coming -- not in a million years," he said. "She has betrayed my trust in people. My right to the pursuit of happiness has been robbed. She took that right from me that night.

    "This was a cruel and calculated violation of a person's body and mind."

    He told reporters outside the courtroom that he was hoping for a stronger sentence.

    More Southern California Stories:



    Photo Credit: Lori Bentley

    Catherine Kieu in court Friday June 28, 2013 during the sentencing phase of her trial.Catherine Kieu in court Friday June 28, 2013 during the sentencing phase of her trial.

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    A young lung transplant recipient who sparked a national debate about children’s access to organ donation has taken her first independent breaths on a second set of donor lungs – after her first transplant failed.

    Sarah Murnaghan, who has a severe case of cystic fibrosis, received a lung transplant at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on June 12 after her family spent months petitioning physicians and lawmakers to allow the 10-year-old to be moved onto the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network's adult organ donor list.

    However, Sarah’s mother Janet Murnaghan said Friday that the girl’s health began to “spiral out of control" following the first surgery. She says her daughter's vital signs plummeted, and the lungs began to fail within hours of the transplant.

    "There were about 30 people in the room and we just kind of stood outside of the room helpless," Janet Murnaghan said.

    The newly transplanted lungs were removed and Sarah was placed on a bypass machine that took over the work for her heart and lungs -- circulating blood outside the body, according to the mother. That same day, the 10-year-old was also once again placed on the adult organ donor list.

    Doctors said Sarah developed a complication called Primary Graft Failure, due to the poor quality of the lungs, according to the family. They said the girl most likely wouldn't survive longer than a week on the bypass machine.

    "The doctors are telling us that the first and second transplants have nothing to do with each other. That the first donor transplant was a donor issue," Janet Murnaghan said. "Her body did not reject them."

    Janet said the family knew Sarah was being given "marginal" lungs, but were left with no choice because her condition was so dire.

    Three days later, a new set of donor lungs became available and her doctors performed a second transplant.

    But the new surgery had its own risks. The new donor lungs, which were also from an adult, were infected with pneumonia.

    Luckily, the mother said, doctors were able to cut away the portion of the lungs that were infected before implanting.

    Following the second transplant, doctors kept the girl's chest open to alleviate pressure from severe swelling.

    “Under a bandage, you can see her heart beating, her lungs rising because she was so swollen from the two procedures,” Janet said.

    After spending two weeks in a medically-induced coma, Sarah was woken up, unaware of the ordeal that played out.

    “So here we are, we wake her up two and a half weeks later and I say, 'So guess what, you didn't have one transplant, you had two...and then your chest was wide open'" Janet said. “She really did not believe me until she saw the pictures.”

    The girl, who is set to celebrate her 11th birthday on August 7 is now communicating with her hands and being weaned off of a ventilator.

    Sarah is still having trouble breathing because of a paralyzed diagram -- a common complication from the transplant surgery. Doctors are expected to fix that issue during a follow up surgery this week.

    Asked why the family waited to share that a second transplant had taken place, Janet said they were simply afraid their little girl was going to die.

    "It was never something that we wanted to keep a secret for any period of time, but it was something that, in that moment, we felt like we weren't prepared to live out her dying in public."

    Sarah has spent more than three months at CHOP, prior to her transplants, as she awaited a new lungs. Since she was under 12-years-old, Sarah was subjected to a different set of donor rules.

    Those under 12 who are in need of a lung transplant, must wait until those over 12-years-of-age pass on the lungs no matter how severe a child's condition may be.

    The Murnaghans challenged the policy in court and on June 5, a judge put a temporary restraining order in place -- allowing Sarah to be placed on the adult donor list.

    The latest transplant is not a cure for her cystic fibrosis, according to doctors. Although, the transplant will extend her life by several years.


    Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, vince.lattanzio@nbcuni.com or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter.



    Photo Credit: Family Photo

    June 28, 2013: 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan on the day her family announced she had a second lung transplant after the first one failed.June 28, 2013: 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan on the day her family announced she had a second lung transplant after the first one failed.

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    The Grand Prairie Police Department gets interesting 911 calls, but this one will be talked about for days.

    Police in the Dallas suburb received a 911 call just before 7:45 a.m. Friday about a kangaroo hopping westbound in the 2200 block of Prince John Drive.

    Officers arrived but didn't catch a kangaroo -- the animal was, in fact, a wallaby.

    "I have been doing this for 20 years, and I will probably never see something like this again," Detective Lyle Gensler said.

    John Richardson, the 911 caller, sent NBC 5 DFW a photo of the Wall-E the wallaby sitting at his front door.

    Grand Prairie police said the wallaby was very excited, saying officers had a hard time controlling him while they waited for animal control to arrive. When asked how he knew how to catch a wallaby, Charles Munoz, the animal control officer, replied "Animal Planet" with a laugh.

    The wallaby had tags and was returned to his owner unharmed.

    "As far as we know, we don't have anything in our city ordinance that says you can't have one, “ said Danielle Tate, animal services manager.

    Wall-E's owners came to get him from animal control after friends saw on social media that he was loose. Their son-in-law said they believe someone tried to steal Wall-E because their fence was ripped.

    Jessica Churchill, the owners' daughter, said her father gave the wallaby to her mother for Christmas after she said she wanted a kangaroo someday.

    NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.



    Photo Credit: Bob Fitch/GrandPrairieReporter.com

    Apparently the wallaby was very excited and officers had a hard time controlling the wallaby while they waited for animal control to arrive.Apparently the wallaby was very excited and officers had a hard time controlling the wallaby while they waited for animal control to arrive.

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    Police have arrested a suspect in the attack on a young mother — captured by a nanny cam — who was beaten in front of her 3-year-old daughter at their home in an upscale New Jersey community.

    Shawn Custis, 42, was arrested in upper Manhattan by New York and New Jersey FBI agents Friday afternoon, shortly after he was publicly identified as a suspect, a law enforcement official said. 

    Custis, who has a long criminal history of burglaries, was located in the lobby of a building on 10th Avenue in Inwood, where his girlfriend lives, the official said.

    He said nothing to reporters as FBI agents led him to the Essex County courthouse to be arraigned.

    Authorities say the woman and her daughter were watching cartoons on their couch in Millburn, N.J. last Friday morning, a baby boy asleep upstairs, when the suspect — alleged to be Custis — kicked in the dead-bolted door of their Cypress Street home.

    The suspect beat the mother as the little girl watched, punching and kicking the woman at least 16 times before pushing her down the basement stairs, police said.  

    The assault was captured on a nanny cam. Footage from that camera shows the woman being tossed around and beaten as her daughter (seen as a blur in the video) looks on. The mother stays nearly silent during the end of the attack.

    "She stayed quiet because she didn't want to upset the 3-year-old child who was witnessing the whole crime," said Millburn Police Captain Michael Palardy, who called the brutal assault "despicable." 

    The attacker appears to stop at one point to say something to the child. She was not hurt. 

    The suspect took off with jewelry and valuables, including the woman's wedding rings and her purse, police said. 

    The mother was taken to the hospital to be treated for a concussion and bruises to her face and body. She had several chipped teeth and received stitches near her mouth, police said. Her husband was at work in New York City at the time of the attack. 

    Authorities say Custis may have chosen the Cypress Street home because he believed it was empty; the shades were drawn and no car was in the driveway.

    Neighbors celebrated the news of Custis' arrest Friday.

    "This whole block, you could just hear a collective sigh of relief when the news started breaking that they got this guy," said Nick Romano. 

    Homeowners in the normally peaceful neighborhood have been on edge since the assault; on Friday, they were seen passing around fliers to start a neighborhood watch group. It read, "The time is now that we need to look out for each other." 


    Shawn Custis, the suspect in the brutal assault of a young mother during a robbery in New Jersey, was arrested in Manhattan Friday, June 28.Shawn Custis, the suspect in the brutal assault of a young mother during a robbery in New Jersey, was arrested in Manhattan Friday, June 28.

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    Just hours after Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder, the New England Patriots released the 23-year-old former tight end Bristol, Conn., native. Now the NFL team is offering a free jersey exchange. 

    The New England Patriots posted on the team website that they are encouraging parents to exchange the #81 Hernandez jerseys that were purchased in the Patriots ProShop or PatriotsProShop.com for any other Patriots player’s jersey in the store.

    The Patriots drafted the tight end in 2010. He first wore jersey #85 but switched to #81 when Chad Johnson, then Chad Ochocinco, joined the team and wore #85.

    On Wednesday, Hernandez was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old Dorchester man. Prosecutors said Lloyd who was the victim of an execution-style killing near the upscale North Attleboro, Mass., community where Hernandez lives.

    Hernandez is being held in a Massachusetts jail and bail has been denied.

    Sources told NBC News that he is also being investigated in another case — the drive-by killings of two men in Boston last year. The men were shot to death in an SUV after leaving a nightclub.

    The following was posted on the Patriots' website:

    "The New England Patriots ProShop will offer a free jersey exchange of any #81 Hernandez jersey purchased at the Patriots ProShop or online at PatriotsProShop.com for a new Patriots jersey of comparable value. The free jersey exchange will be available exclusively at the Patriots ProShop the weekend of Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7.

    “We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don’t want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore,” said New England Patriots spokesperson Stacey James. “We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player’s jersey will be well received by parents.”

    This opportunity for a free exchange of jerseys is limited to the weekend of July 6-7 and is available only at the Patriots ProShop located at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The hours of operation are from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 6 and from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 7. The exchange is for jerseys available in the Patriots ProShop only and is limited to one per person."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The New England Patriots released Aaron Hernandez after he was charged with murder. Now the team is exchanging Aaron Hernandez jerseys for free.The New England Patriots released Aaron Hernandez after he was charged with murder. Now the team is exchanging Aaron Hernandez jerseys for free.

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    Route 68 between Research Parkway and Northrop Road is now open after an oil  truck overturned while coming off I-91 in Wallingford Friday afternoon.

    Police said the southbound off ramp from I-91 to Route 68 was also closed for several hours as clean up crews worked to clear the road from oil that spilled from the truck.

    The driver suffered minor injuries.



    Photo Credit: Scott Cimini

    An oil truck rolled over, closing Route 68 in Wallingford Friday evening.An oil truck rolled over, closing Route 68 in Wallingford Friday evening.

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    As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, re-enactors describe their preparation. News4 Washington's Richard Jordan reports.

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    In a surprise decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order clearing the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California Friday afternoon. Jean Elle and George Kiriyama report.

    Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area

    Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier become the first same-sex couple to be married in California after Prop 8 was overturned.Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier become the first same-sex couple to be married in California after Prop 8 was overturned.

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    Proposition 8 plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier become the first same-sex couple to be married in California since Prop 8 was overturned.

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    Two of the plaintiffs in a challenge to Proposition 8 became the first same-sex couple to marry in Los Angeles Friday afternoon, some 3 1/2 hours after an appeals court issued an order clearing the way for such unions to resume in California.

    On the last business day of his administration, outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa officiated the historic ceremony held at the mayor’s press office at City Hall.

    “I’ve done a few of these over the last couple years, but never have I been prouder,” Villaraigosa said at the beginning of the ceremony. “Never have I been more joyful than I am today. This is a special moment.”

    Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo have been together for 12 years.

    “Your relationship is an inspiration to us all,” Villaraigosa said.

    “Your bravery in the face of bigotry has made history. And thanks to you, ceremonies like this will be celebrated with joy in California and across the country.”

    A few hours earlier, just before 5 p.m. Friday, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier — the other two lead plaintiffs in the Supreme Court challenge to Prop 8 — were married at San Francisco City Hall by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

    “Gay and lesbian couples have waited so long for this day and for their fundamental right to marry,” Harris said in a statement issued just before 4 p.m. “Finally, their loving relationships are as legitimate and legal as any other.”

    The public ceremonies mark the resumption of same-sex unions in the country's most populous state after a 4 1/2-year break. California is now the 13th state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow same-sex marriages.

    Friday’s unexpected order makes marriage available to some 98,000 same-sex couples living in California.


    Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, two of the plaintiffs in a challenge to Proposition 8, are married by outgoing LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on June 28, 2013, just hours after a federal appellate court on Friday issued an order clearing the way for same-sex weddings to resume.Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, two of the plaintiffs in a challenge to Proposition 8, are married by outgoing LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on June 28, 2013, just hours after a federal appellate court on Friday issued an order clearing the way for same-sex weddings to resume.

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    Delaware State Senator Karen Peterson was a co-sponsor of the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the First State, and she will be the first person to say her "I do's" on July 1.

    "It just validates our relationship, and that's the most important part of it: In the eyes of society, it gets validated," said Peterson.

    Peterson and her partner of 24 years, Victoria Bandy, will make history as the first same-sex couple to wed in Delaware Monday morning, when they will exchange their vows at the New Castle County Clerk of the Peace in Wilmington, Del.

    It's a day she never imagined would come. "Never, ever. I still can't believe it. Who would think at 63 I'd be getting married, you know?" said Peterson.

    But the senator says she didn't say yes right away, when Equality Delaware asked her to be first. That's because the Senate's last night in session is Sunday and it usually runs all night.

    "I hesitated because I thought, 'well, I'm not even going to be awake.' Sometimes I drive home from Dover when the sun is coming up," said Peterson.

    Peterson and Bandy's wedding ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning.

    Later that evening, after Peterson sleeps off her Senate all-nighter, they will celebrate with family and friends at their wedding reception.

    "It's a real thrill, it's a thrill for both of us. It's not something that we ever expected in our lifetimes, but it means a lot personally and financially," said Peterson.

    On June 26, the Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which barred married same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits.

    This is the icing on the wedding cake for same-sex couples in Delaware, less than a week before gay marriage becomes legal there.

    Peterson said after the rulings came down, she got a note from a friend that said: "What a great wedding gift you got from the Supreme Court." She agrees.


    Victoria Bandy (left) sits next to partner of 24 years, Delaware State Senator Karen Peterson (right)Victoria Bandy (left) sits next to partner of 24 years, Delaware State Senator Karen Peterson (right)

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    Same-sex marriages resumed in California on Friday just after an appeals court issued an unexpected order clearing the way for such unions — and the two couples whose Supreme Court challenge helped torpedo Proposition 8 were two of the first to wed.

    Paul Katami and Jeff Zarillo, two of the lead plaintiffs who had challenged California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, were married in outgoing Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's press office at L.A. City Hall, with Villaraigosa officiating.

    A few hours earlier, just before 5 p.m. Friday, Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier were married at San Francisco City Hall by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

    The jubilant public ceremony, shown below at right, marked the resumption of same-sex unions in the country's most populous state after a 4-1/2 year break. California is now the 13th state, along with the District of Columbia, to allow same-sex marriages.

    "Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier, I now declare you spouses for life!! #Prop8 #MarriageEquality," tweeted Harris just minutes after the ceremony.

    Less than two hours earlier, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had issued a brief order lifting a stay ordered in 2012 that had allowed time for an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2010, a federal trial court judge found California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional, a finding that was upheld by the 9th Circuit.

    The appellate court order came two days after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule on the Prop 8 a case, effectively paving the way for same-sex unions in California.

    Full Coverage: Prop 8 Page | Read: Supreme Court's Prop 8 Opinion | Prop 8 Timeline

    Same-sex marriage opponents who had argued in court on behalf of Proposition 8 -- the 2008 ballot measure that state officials refused to defend -- said the appellate court's order Friday was an "outrageous act" that denied the group its rights.

    But the state's top elected officials celebrated the shift, which came just as San Francisco was beginning its massive annual gay pride celebration.

    "LOVE WILL RULE THE WEEKEND. CONGRATS TO ALL THOSE PLANNING TO GET MARRIED," tweeted Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who as San Francisco's mayor in 2004 had ordered the issuance of the state's first same-sex marriage licenses.

    "Same-sex marriage is now the law in California!," Gov. Jerry Brown tweeted after the federal appellate court order came down Friday afternoon.

    The Prop 8 plaintiffs' wedding ceremonies marked the end of an historic week for the gay rights movement, which also saw the Supreme Court strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a law that allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages permitted in other states.

    In its 5-4 ruling on Proposition 8, the Supreme Court on Wednesday had decided the ballot measure's backers lacked standing under federal law to appeal the case, effectively leaving in place the 9th Circuit's 2012 finding that the law was unconstitutional. State officials had refused to defend the ballot measure in court, leaving a group including ProtectMarriage.com to argue on behalf of the measure.

    The Supreme Court decision meant same-sex marriage could soon resume in California pending a legal process that many expected would mean a wait for the lifting of the stay on the 9th Circuit Court's order overturning Prop 8. It seemed it could takes weeks for same-sex marriages to resume.

    Under Supreme Court rules, rulings are usually final after 25 days, and the court said earlier this week that it would not finalize its ruling in the Proposition 8 dispute until after that time had elapsed.

    It was not immediately clear whether the appeals court's action would be halted by the high court.

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had said after Wednesday's ruling that it would take at least the 25 days for the Supreme Court's ruling to become official. The San Francisco-based appellate court had also said it might continue to bar same-sex marriages beyond that time if proponents of Proposition 8 ask for a rehearing.

    But Attorney General Harris had on Wednesday called for the stay to be lifted as soon as possible, after Gov. Brown said he wanted counties to prepare for same-sex marriages to resume once the 9th Circuit confirmed the stay was lifted.

    And on Friday, the federal appellate court did so.

    “The stay in the above matter is dissolved effective immediately,” said the one-sentence order, issued just after 3 p.m. Friday.

    County clerks in several of the state's 58 counties had on Wednesday put out statements that they would begin issuing marriage licenses once the stay was lifted.

    With that done on Friday, same-sex marriage supporters in California celebrated.

    "On my way to S.F. City Hall. Let the wedding bells ring! #Prop8," Harris tweeted Friday afternoon.

    “I am thrilled that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its stay to allow same-sex couples to legally marry in California,” Harris said in a statement issued just before 4 p.m. “Gay and lesbian couples have waited so long for this day and for their fundamental right to marry. Finally, their loving relationships are as legitimate and legal as any other.”

    Anthony Pugno, the general counsel for ProtectMarriage.com, said in a statement that the court order deprived the group of its “right to ask for reconsideration.”

    "This outrageous act tops off a chronic pattern of lawlessness, throughout this case, by judges and politicians hell-bent on thwarting the vote of the people to redefine marriage by any means, even outright corruption,” Pugno wrote. "The resumption of same-sex marriage this day has been obtained by illegitimate means."

    The Associated Press contributed to this story.



    Photo Credit: American Foundation for Equal Rights

    Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, two of the plaintiffs in a challenge to Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, pose with their marriage license on Friday, June 28, 2013. A federal appellate court on Friday issued an order clearing the way for same-sex weddings to resume.Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, two of the plaintiffs in a challenge to Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, pose with their marriage license on Friday, June 28, 2013. A federal appellate court on Friday issued an order clearing the way for same-sex weddings to resume.

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