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by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer Two policemen marry in Northern California
Two male cops have gotten married in Northern California.

Santa Rosa police officer Chris Mahurin, 25, and San Rafael police officer Alex Holm, 25, tied the knot June 20 at Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa.

"It's just a dream come true," Holm's mother, Claire Ann Boyce, told the local Press Democrat newspaper. "It makes me feel like this generation is on its way to have what everyone should have."

The ceremony was conducted by Gay state Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, chief sponsor of the same-sex marriage bill that twice passed the state Legislature only to be vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage May 15 and the ruling took effect June 16.

L.A. mayor marries Gay couple
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa conducted a City Hall wedding June 23 for American Beauty producer Bruce Cohen and his husband Gabriel Catone.

Villaraigosa, who is friends with the couple, called it an "honor" to officiate at the marriage.

The celebration following the vows was disrupted by Rosalyn Schultz of Hesperia, who took to the podium, identified herself as "the angel of the Trinity," called same-sex marriage wrong, and called Villaraigosa an "adulterer."

She later told the Los Angeles Times that legalization of same-sex marriage will cause earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes.

Cohen, who won an Oscar for American Beauty, told City News Service the disruption "added spice" to his wedding and didn't "change the fact that we are legally married."

Orange County Register supports same-sex marriage
The biggest daily newspaper in California's populous and conservative Orange County has come out against the November ballot referendum aimed at amending the state constitution to re-ban same-sex marriage.

"Our preference would be for the government not to be involved in marriage, the most fundamental of institutions in a civil society," the newspaper editorialized. "Why two people who want to be married should be required to get a license from the state is something of a mystery.

"As a practical matter, however, the government has so entwined itself into our daily lives that state recognition is important," the paper continued. "Considering all this and the importance of equality before the law, the high court's decision was justified."

The editorial also dismissed the notion that allowing same-sex marriage infringes upon the religious freedom of Gay-marriage opponents.

"Church and state are correctly separate in this country, and the fact that the state recognizes a union as a marriage doesn't mean that a religious person or institution has to recognize it or approve of it," the paper said. "It's hard to imagine a minister, rabbi or imam who objects to same-sex marriages being forced to perform one."

Orange and San Diego counties, given their large populations and less-than-liberal political histories, are seen as possibly key to defeating the November referendum, which is expected to fail easily in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area, the state's other two huge population centers.

San Diego County's largest newspaper, The San Diego Union-Tribune, has yet to editorialize on the ballot initiative. But in a June 21 radio appearance, U-T editorial page editor Bob Kittle said: "Public opinion generally has shifted quite a bit on this issue. ... The argument against Gay marriage, from many people at least, has been: This threatens traditional marriage. I think that argument doesn't hold water and I think the experience that we're going to have in California, now that same-sex couples are being married, is that it has no impact whatsoever on other marriages. ... It does not threaten marriage between a man and a woman. It simply doesn't, you know - we're going to find that out.

"I think Gay marriage will be accepted in the years ahead; it will become commonplace and it won't ... lead to moral decay in our country," Kittle said.

Daily-newspaper editorials and endorsements are seen as important by the activists battling the ballot initiative because readers of daily newspapers skew older and polling has found that Californians older than 50 are the only age group in which a majority of those questioned oppose same-sex marriage.

San Francisco politicians boycott HRC
Key Gay politicians in San Francisco will boycott the Human Rights Campaign's 2008 San Francisco Bay Area Gala at the Westin St. Francis Hotel on July 26.

They include city Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Bevan Dufty, state Assemblyman Mark Leno and state Sen. Carole Migden.

The politicians are upset over HRC's support last year for a version of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would protect Gay and Bisexual people, but not Transgender people.

Nearly 400 local, state and national GLBT groups also oppose the measure, which has passed the U.S. House and now is in the Senate.

"The Human Rights Campaign should not be human rights cowards," Ammiano said at a news conference, according to a June 25 report in the San Francisco Chronicle.

HRC President Joe Solmonese told the paper that the organization felt obligated to support a bill that would protect gay, lesbian and bisexual people, "even though we ... would not have chosen that course" of leaving out protections based on gender identity.

With assistance from Bill Kelley
pictures: top - Tom Ammiano
middle: Joe Solmonese
bottom: Antonio Villaraigosa

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