Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spouses-for-Life

I was invited to participate in the first, state-sanctioned same-sex wedding in California! It was held on the steps of the Beverly Hills County Courthouse. And the spouses-to-be were Robin Tyler and Diane Olson.

The ceremony was performed by Denise Eger, rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami, in West Hollywood. I was one of four men honored to hold the chuppah, or wedding canopy, used to signify the home the spouses will live in together. It is an event on a date I will never forget, as my late wife and I were married on June 16 forty years earlier under a similar canopy.

The air was electric and we were mobbed by the world's press. The love and joy in the faces of the spouses-to-be was evident to everyone in the audience. Cheers erupted at major points in the ceremony, with the loudest erupting when Rabbi Eger intoned "By the power vested in me by the State of California, I now pronounce you spouses-for-life!"

The couple exchanged rings, kissed and each smashed the traditional glasses at the end of the ceremony.

Of course, there were the usual, sad-faced homophobes (just a few) with their signs and occasional imprecations. But they were mostly blocked and completely ignored.

And now, of course, comes the hard part - making sure that Robin and Diane (and thousands of other couples) stay legally married. And that's the task to which I will be directing my own energies over the next five months - as PFLAG Regional Director and as leader of Jews for Marriage Equality.

Together, we will ensure our families equal rights forever.

- Steve Krantz, PFLAG Southern Pacific Regional Director

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