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UPDATED! Chaos ensues when Baja California's first gay marriage is denied

(Editor's note: Update is below.)

MEXICALI, Baja California, Mexico -- This morning was supposed to be one for the history books in Baja California, when Victor Aguirre Espinoza and Fernando Urías Amparo were scheduled to become the first same-sex couple allowed to marry in the Mexican state just south of the California border.

But instead of a joyful wedding ceremony, the couple, dressed in matching white suits, were thrust in the middle of an ugly homophobic nightmare.

Outside the Mexicali City Hall, anti-gay protesters prayed and shouted slurs.

The Mexican Supreme Court had recently ruled that the couple's application for a marriage license should be permitted, and their wedding plans made international news. It was widely published that their marriage would be on this day.

A judge stood by to marry the couple, and a local television station began a livestream broadcast of the historical moment. The small room at City Hall was crowded with the media along with family and friends of the couple. The mood was upbeat.

But then Rosa Maria Real, who is charged with officiating marriages with the Mexicali government, showed up to stop everything in its tracks. She told everyone: "I know nothing" about a marriage today, according to a tweet by Sandra Dibble @sandradibble, who covers Baja California news for U-T San Diego. Nevermind that their names were listed in the Civil Registry, El Mexicano reported.

Her remarks sparked screams of protest.

The couple's attorney, José Luis Márques Saavedra, objected and eventually got on a phone with federal officials seeking to hold the government of Mexicali in contempt of the Supreme Court.

Then there was a bomb threat. The bridegrooms, family and friends refused to evacuate the room, considering it a hoax.

Eventually, everyone was cleared out of the room and the wedding ceremony was not conducted. Local media reported that the wedding party planned to return at 2 pm today to see if the legal mess could be resolved by that time.


Looks like there will be no historic wedding today. Local media are reporting that the Civil Registry official is making up stuff to try to stall the civil ceremony.

The official, identified as Guadalupe Adriana Nevarez Ramírez, said the signature of the witness doesn't seem to match the one on documents. She also said she found "inconsistencies" on the birth certificates for both men and other things that concerned her.

The couple's attorney accused Mayor Jaime Díaz Ochoa, a vocal opponent of marriage equality, of orchestrating today's hurdles.

The official told the crowd that if all her concerns were addressed and fixed that the marriage could take place.

Stay tuned.