Justice Coalition Stages Gay Wedding

El Vaquero Staff Writer

Three same-sex marriages were performed in Vaquero Plaza on Tuesday. The Justice Coalition-sponsored event was intended to raise concern and gain support for gay rights in California.
Reverend Neil Thomas officiated over the simulated wedding and addressed the crowd, pointing out that a gay couple is denied more than 1,000 benefits by not being able to be legally married.

Liam Cooper, who works for the Gay and Lesbian Center’s “Vote for Equality” campaign attended as a supporter. This campaign is “California’s leading campaign to educate voters to speak out at the ballot box in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality,” according to the Gay and Lesbian Center’s Web site.

On July 12, 2006 state lawmakers postponed a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage. Cooper, along with two GCC students, Ismael Reyes and Melissa Holmes, walked around the plaza looking for volunteers to give their time to the campaign and speak with voters about same-sex marriage issues for the upcoming 2008 elections.

When asked what his response was to finding volunteers, Reyes said, “I’m disappointed that people don’t want to do it. People are so apathetic to do anything to make change,” he added.
Holmes felt that “students aren’t aware of important issues; that if they were to learn about these issues they would be able to base their own opinions on what they know, not on what other people tell them.”

The ceremony ended with rose petals scattered about and Lopez adding, “I was thankful for the peaceful supporters. I thought we were going to get hated and we weren’t.”

When asked for his opinion on same-sex marriage, Eddie Davoodian, a 23-year- old film student, simply replied “they don’t harm me.” Talia Fligelman, 19, also a film major, added “whatever floats your boat.”

One GCC student, who asked to remain anonymous, said that “[same-sex marriage] is the decline of our nation and the corruption of our youth.” The student identified himself as a member of the Fourth Reich.

Jacob Lopez, 23, a member of LAMBDA (a campus club representing gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual students) responded to the opposing views of same-sex marriage by saying “it’s embarrassing that anyone would say anything hateful and not own up to it. If they believe in it, they would give their name.”

In the last hour of the ceremony, 16 people volunteered their time to the grass roots campaign in support of same-sex marriage.