Judge grants legal recognition to Sebastopol women's marriage after legal battle

The marriage vows exchanged three months ago by two Sebastopol women were validated Wednesday with a few quick words uttered from the bench by a Sonoma County probate judge preparing to move onto other scheduled matters.

It was quick, procedural and almost anti-climactic after Judge Nancy Case Shaffer issued a tentative ruling Tuesday stating she intended to grant legal recognition to the marriage of Stacey Schuett and her late wife, Lesly Taboada-Hall.

Schuett-Hall Marriage Upheld


But for Schuett and her family, daughter Clare, 17, and son Ian, 14, the ruling has a powerful impact, validating the 27 years the two women spent together building a family and ensuring the effort made by Taboada-Hall to provide for them comes to fruition in the wake of her death.

"I'm just speechless," Schuett, 52, said afterward in the court clerk's office, where she signed the forms to secure a certificate of marriage from the state.

Schuett and Taboada-Hall, 56, were married June 19 in a hastily planned ceremony they had hoped to put off until an anticipated ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court restoring the right of same-sex couples to wed in California.

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