For Whom the Wedding Bells Also Ring: Bay Area Politicians
With same-sex marriage legal once again in California, Bay Area out politicians and their longtime partners are now discussing if wedding bells will be ringing for them.
For one East Bay politician, the answer came Sunday.
Rebecca Saltzman, an out lesbian who was elected to the BART board last year, married her longtime partner Cat Stone in a late afternoon ceremony Sunday, June 30 in Oakland’s Jack London Square neighborhood amid the looming threat that the Bay Area’s main public transit agency would go on strike at midnight.
Oakland City Councilmember Libby Schaaf , a friend of the couple’s, officiated and there were about 40 guests on hand.
Saltzman and Stone had a wedding ceremony two years ago at the Chabot Space and Science Center in the Oakland hills. But the union was not legally recognized because at that time Proposition 8, the state’s same-sex marriage ban, was in place.
However, last Friday, upon hearing that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had lifted the stay of a lower court decision that ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional, Saltzman rushed to the Alameda County Clerk’s office for a marriage license. Then, in between BART board meetings, she and Stone hastily planned their ceremony for Sunday. Both women’s parents were able to attend.
Saltzman told the Bay Area Reporter at the reception that she wasn’t sure of the status of BART negotiations (she, as a board member, was not a direct participant in the talks).
"I took a couple hours off to get married," she said.
Unfortunately, BART talks broke down Sunday night, leading to the strike that began Monday, crippling the Bay Area commute.
Across the bay in San Francisco, gay state Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) contracted what he called "mad vow disease," adding, "it is taking over San Francisco and there is no cure." He proposed to his longtime partner, Carolis Deal, while being interviewed during the live broadcast of the Pride parade.
"I am going to make some history here and propose. We are going to do it," Ammiano told Sebastian Kunz, the on-the-parade-route reporter for the online broadcast, which was later shown on local cable channel KOFY.
An aide for Ammiano told the B.A.R. that the couple, who first became friends 30 years ago and later began to date, is looking to wed sometime in the fall, most likely in a private ceremony with family.
Gay District 9 Supervisor David Campos also got engaged to his partner, Phil Hwang, and are also planning a private wedding ceremony for sometime later this year.