By Steve Angeles, ABS CBN North America Bureau
July 2, 2013
West Hollywood – After a 5 year hiatus, lesbian and gay couples were back to the altar with joyous tears, bouquets, and wedding tuxedos exchanging their wedding vows. After a Supreme Court ruling over turned the State’s same sex marriage ban last week, county offices began issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples throughout the state. Hundreds of same sex couples came to LA’s gay district in the city of West Hollywood to tie the knot.
For Ilocos Norte born Rick Flor and his partner Robert O’rourke who have been together for seven years, they never thought the day they could legally tie the knot.
In a separate ruling, couples like Flor and O’rourke who work in the fashion and furniture industries, can now avail of some one thousand benefits once prohibited by the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
“Maraming salamat sa lahat sumasupporta sa equal rights,” Flor said.
Flor and O’rourke were among the first in a 6 hour marathon of free weddings hosted by the city of West
Hollywood. One after the other, families came to celebrate the return of same sex marriage, some to tie the knot themselves, others to bear witness.
One straight Filipina said she couldn’t pass up a chance of history her best friend’s wedding.
“It’s been a long time coming and I’m so glad that it finally happened because it should’ve happened a long time ago. Love is love,” Jennifer Kumiyama said, “I’m just happy that they have their day today and they’re officially recognized as a married couple.”
After the brief wedding vow exchanges, many newlyweds celebrated with cake and champagne at the iconic Abby bar.
While the wedding bells have started ringing, the battle is still not completely over. Supporters of the same sex marriage ban are expected to file for more appeals within the next several weeks.
Let Us All Forever Celebrate Love!