Gay weddings kick off in Oakland

June 16, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
In Oakland on Monday night, Mayor Ron Dellums presided over more than a dozen weddings.

There was that nervous and excited, wedding-energy in the air. Mayor Dellums reminded the crowd that they were taking part in something historic.

The legally married same-sex couples entered Oakland City Hall for a triumphant ceremony.

"It feels real so real and so emotional it's overwhelming," said Vignan Banes, an Oakland resident.

The couples represented Oakland's diversity: Chinese, Japanese, Palestinian, Latino, Black and White Americans.

William Jennings who had a heart attack last year, hopes his new husband will no longer have to go through the legal hassles at the hospital.

"We literally had to pull out legal paperwork so that he could make decisions for me while I was under the knife," said William Jennings, from Oakland.

Now that it's legal Koko Lin Margo says her parents from Malasia are no longer ashamed and more accepting of her new wife.

"I would say they keep this inside the family if they feel it's a sham, but they do reach out. And her parents, too," said Margo.

Shortly after 5 o'clock the Alameda County Recorder's Office issued its first same-sex marriage license, denoting "Party A and Party B."

"I feel like we're party of a shift, I feel like they're a shift happening in society in general," said Kenny Latham, from Emeryville.

Don Grundmann, with SaveBiblicalMarriage.org was the only protester at the County Recorder's office.

"I grew up with Dick and Jane readers, see Dick and Jane run home to mommy and daddy. Shortly after same-sex marriage is legalized, there will be lawsuits which will overturn that. They'll say it's discrimination, because it doesn't say, 'Daddy and daddy or mommy and mommy,'" said Grundmann.

"People will look back on this and wonder what was historic about it, because by then, we will understand that this should be the norm," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

Congresswoman Lee, a supporter of same-sex marriage, believes true love still conquers all.

The Alameda Recorder's Office had 37 scheduled ceremonies Monday night and were taking walk-ins up until 8 p.m.


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