On Friday, May 2 from 12 to 2pm scores of queer and ally partners engaged in a mass wedding at Storke Tower. Vice Chancellor Michael Young officiated the annual ceremony. This was the 19th anniversary of the first Queer Wedding. The event was hosted in parts by the Queer Student Union and F.U.Q.I.T (Friendly Undergrad Queers in it Together).
Participants in the wedding received wedding certificates, rings, and cake. All sorts of partnerships were recognized from gay to lesbian to bisexual to heterosexual, as well as other kinds of gender and sexual orientations. Some marriages were even between more than two people.
The event celebrated the queer community and established their place as fellows who deserve equal, and not separate, treatment. Many participants were displaying pride shirts, buttons, stickers and colors. The plaza itself was decorated to match the festivities. The event acted as a way for partners to publicly display their presence to the community and help create understanding. For some, the wedding was also just a fun event that did not necessarily focus on political gains, but individual affections and feelings. Several partners had dressed up in wedding gear or nice clothing.
The event was one of the last events in a week-long celebration of Queer Pride week. Other events of the Pride Week included student and professional drag shows, dances, rallies, sexually informational workshops, mixers, socials and a Pride Festival in Anisqâ€™Oyo Park.
Same-sex marriage is still illegal in the state of California â€“ and every other state except Massachusetts â€“ although California is currently one of the most liberal states granting rights to civil unions. The Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case that could allow extra-heterosexual marriage in California. The hearing started on March 4th, and is scheduled to end on June 2nd, although a decision could be reached before then. The Supreme Court is reviewing a case from the Appellate court that had overturned a lower courtâ€™s decision that banning marriages based on gender or sex was discriminatory. Many reactionary conservative bills trying to place restrictions on same-sex couples have failed; some did not receive enough signatures to become propositions and Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed others that did pass.
For more information about sexuality and queer issues on campus, check out the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, located in the Student Resource Building on the second floor. For more information about the Queer Student Union or F.U.Q.I.T.; see their Facebook groups, who encourage newcomers to attend their weekly meetings and frequent socials.