Rosie, Girlfriend Tie the Knot in S.F.

02/25/2004 at 07:03 PM EST

They did it. Just as she promised, Rosie O'Donnell and longtime girlfriend Kelli Carpenter went to San Francisco on Thursday and got married -- becoming the first celebrity pair to join more than 3,300 other same-sex couples in tying the knot.

"We really did. We got married," O'Donnell said, according to the Associated Press.

The former talk-show host, wearing a powder-blue blazer and holding a bouquet of purple and yellow flowers, held hands with Carpenter as they walked out of Mayor Gavin Newsom's office. San Francisco's Gay Men's Chorus also serenaded the couple with "Going to the Chapel."

"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," O'Donnell said afterward.

She first announced her wedding plans to Diane Sawyer during an interview taped for ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday night. She said she had decided to marry Carpenter during her court battle with publisher Gruner + Jahr over the now-defunct Rosie magazine, and that she and Carpenter had previously applied for spousal privilege and were denied 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. That invasion of privacy, she added, had made her "a total proponent of gay marriage."

But O'Donnell said her plans to marry Carpenter were sped up by President Bush's announcement this week that he would endorse a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

"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 morning show. "I am stunned and I am horrified."

O'Donnell said she found the proposed amendment shocking and immoral. "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.

Newsom, San Francisco's new mayor, has allowed San Francisco City Hall to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples since Feb. 12. That decision is currently being challenged in California courts.

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