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Video: Rosie O'Donnell weds in S.F.

updated 3/3/2004 10:01:13 AM ET 2004-03-03T15:01:13

Rosie O’Donnell married her longtime girlfriend Thursday, taking what she called a proud stand for gay civil rights in the city where more than 3,300 other same-sex couples have tied the knot since Feb. 12.

“I want to thank the city of San Francisco for this amazing stance the mayor has taken for all the people here, not just us but all the thousands and thousands of loving, law-abiding couples,” the former talk show host, holding a large bouquet of purple and yellow flowers, said after she and Kelli Carpenter emerged from their brief ceremony inside Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office.

Earlier Thursday, O’Donnell announced her wedding plans on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” just two days after President Bush called for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

She said the president’s call is what inspired her to come to San Francisco, where city officials continue to perform same-sex weddings even as state courts are considering the legality of those marriages.

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“I think the actions of the president are, in my opinion, the most vile and hateful words ever spoken by a sitting president,” O’Donnell, who lives in the New York City region, said on the program. “I am stunned and I’m horrified.

“I find this proposed amendment very, very, very, very shocking. And immoral. And, you know, if civil disobedience is the way to go about change, then I think a lot of people will be going to San Francisco. And I hope they put more people on the steps to marry as many people as show up. And I hope everyone shows up.”

O’Donnell and Carpenter, who have four children together, walked hand in hand down the grand marble staircase in the rotunda to thunderous applause from hundreds of spectators who came to witness the city’s first celebrity same-sex wedding. O’Donnell was wearing a powder-blue blazer, black shirt and black pants; Carpenter wore a gray pantsuit.

As the San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus serenaded the couple with a few bars of “Going to the Chapel,” O’Donnell smiled and said, “We really did. We got married.”

O’Donnell said she decided to marry Carpenter, a former dancer and marketing director at Nickelodeon, during her recent trial in New York over the now-defunct Rosie magazine. During the case, she referred to Carpenter as her wife.

“We applied for spousal privilege and were denied it by the state. As a result, everything that I said to Kelli, every letter that I wrote her, every e-mail, every correspondence and conversation was entered into the record,” O’Donnell said. “After the trial, I am now and will forever be a total proponent of gay marriage.”

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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