Rosie O'Donnell has gone bridal.
O'Donnell and longtime companion Kelli Carpenter wed in a quick, private ceremony Thursday at San Francisco's City Hall, becoming the most famous of the 3,300-plus same-sex couples to get hitched there in recent weeks.
The newly minted marrieds, hand in hand and clutching a bouquet and their license, briefly addressed the hundreds of fans on hand to cheer.
"I'd like to thank the city of San Francisco for the amazing stance the mayor has taken, and all the people here who have assisted not just us, but the thousands and thousands of other law-abiding and loving American families who want the rights that every other married couple is entitled to," O'Donnell said to a rousing ovation.
Susan Leal, the city's treasurer and a fellow lesbian, officiated the ceremony. The San Francisco's Gay Men's Chorus provided a soundtrack, serending the newlyweds with "Going to the Chapel" as they exited City Hall.
Earlier, in a statement issued by publicist Cindi Berger, O'Donnell said, "We, too, have a dream of equality for all families. The only way changes are made in society is when people like [San Francisco] Mayor Gavin Newsom have the courage to stand up against injustice."
The couple's visit to the City by the Bay was a brief one. They were to go from City Hall to the airport for a flight back to their home in New York. With four kids, quipped O'Donnell, "there's no time for a honeymoon."
It was a long day for the duo. They awoke in the predawn hours to give Rosie enough time to announce their matrimonial intentions on ABC's Good Morning America before hopping a plane from New York to San Francisco to make a 1 p.m. PT appointment for their marriage license.
During her GMA appearance, O'Donnell explained that she and Carpenter had been wanting to get hitched for months and were ultimately spurred to action by President George W. Bush's call two days prior for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.
"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 said on the program. "I am stunned and horrified."
The couple will join the parade of gay couples who have tied the knot in San Francisco since Feb. 12, when Newsom ordered city officials to begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses in defiance of a California law stating marriage is strictly between a man and a woman. Newsom says the law violates the equal protection clause in the state constitution.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has since ordered the state's attorney general to look into the legality of those unions and several California courts have taken up the matter, but so far none has issued an injunction blocking the nuptials.
O'Donnell, who came out of the closet shortly before her daytime talk show folded in the spring of 2002, is no stranger to the culture wars, having lobbied to overturn a Florida law prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting. Now, she says, she's ready for a new fight.
"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," she said on GMA. "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, a dancer turned marketing director for Nickelodeon, are going on six years and four kids together--three of whom they adopted and the most recent arriving last year when Carpenter gave birth via artificial insemination.
O'Donnell, 40, and Carpenter, 35, had hoped to wed in New York last fall during O'Donnell's trial with former Rosie publisher Gruner + Jahr USA, but the state currently doesn't recognize such unions.
"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 email, every correspondence and conversation was entered into the record," said O'Donnell. "After the trial, I am now and will forever be a total proponent of gay marriage."
After leaving the GMA studios, she and Carpenter immediately headed to the airport.
In other Rosie news, the judge in the comic's contract dispute with Gruner + Jahr has ruled that while "both sides breached the agreement between the parties" regarding the demise of her eponymous magazine, "neither were entitled to damages or attorneys fees."
O'Donnell's ex-publisher sued her for $100 million, claiming she reneged on her contract by quitting the magazine. Rosie fired back with her own $125 million legal salvo, accusing Gruner + Jahr of trying to wrest editorial control away from her. But Judge Ira Gammerman issued a preliminary verdict in November declaring no one a winner. Last week's ruling effectively sealed that decision.
Gruner + Jahr has said it's considering an appeal.