A Groundbreaking Occasion: A Reflection
While the historically liberal politics of San Francisco might seem like a faraway country to some people of Orange County, the outpouring of gay and lesbian couples to the San Francisco Civic Center does have a connection to Orange County through three same-sex couples from UCI who recently got married. Christine Browning and Pat Walsh, Eric Anderson and Grant Tyler Peterson, and Kathleen Eiler and her partner recently tied the knot in San Francisco during the past week.
Both couples flew to San Francisco on Sunday and waited outside the city’s Civic Center throughout the night in order to get married the next day. With their luggage still in tow, they waited in the pouring rain with a tarp to cover themselves alongside thousands of other couples who came to San Francisco to make a lifelong commitment to each other.
The holiday weekend almost closed the window for the same-sex couples, but hundreds of volunteers provided their time and services in order to give the couples more time to get married and keep the Civic Center open. In addition to the support of these volunteers, the lack of protesters outside of the Civic Center showed how supportive some people really were.
CHRISTINE BROWNING AND PAT WALSH
A small room in the back of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center slowly filled to near capacity as people gathered around a last-minute two-tier cake with two brides sitting on top.
Bubbles were blown and people clapped as a surprise party for Browning and Walsh was thrown in celebration of their San Francisco marriage.
The couple met at a conference in graduate school at the University of Maine and they have been together since 1979. Each with their own biological children, they have lived their lives as a family for the past 25 years and while their commitment to each other is now officially recognized, Walsh, the director of the LGBTRC and assistant dean of students, stated that their lives probably would not change much.
‘We’ve been in this relationship every day of our lives because we want to. It’s been a choice for 25 years,’ Walsh said. ‘We’re here as women making a decision to lead our lives our way and we’re going to continue to do so