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West Hollywood to mark historic same-sex marriages


A West Hollywood site where same-sex marriages were performed last year is getting a new addition: a bronze historical marker engraved with a quote from Nelson Mandela.

The City Council plans to unveil the plaque Sept. 8 before permanently installing it at West Hollywood Park off North San Vicente Boulevard to commemorate the first marriages of same-sex couples.

It will bear these words from the former president of South Africa: “I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”

The city of West Hollywood issued more than 1,000 marriage licenses and performed more than 600 civil ceremonies from June to November 2008, when California voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage. The California Supreme Court upheld the ban in May.

Mayor Abbe Land said West Hollywood continues to fight for the rights of same-sex couples.

“Each of us are our own activists,” she said. “We will be doing what needs to be done to get the word out.”

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Milo Reifsnyder lines up for cake with parents Frank Reifsnyder and James Riefsnyder-Smith during a gathering of married same-sex couples in June at West Hollywood Park. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (3)

Yes! beautiful and truthful words from Nelson Mandela. I am not truly free yet.

10 points for the awesome folks at the city of West Hollywood. Although WeHo is such a small city in size, they are giants in the movement for human rights, right alongside a more established San Francisco. They're inspiring to all kinds of people, like me, who are sometimes discouraged in our effort to unite our country and make it equally free for everyone. If a tiny little city smaller than 2 square miles can make such a significant impact to society, it leaves me to imagine how one person can influence a nation, consequently the world. If one person can change the minds of a few, and a few can change the minds of several, we're well on our way to a more enlightened and just future. This post totally made my day. Thank you.

Very very fine. We must keep up the pressure. And that includes letting Voters for H8 know that they have hurt a lot of people, their families and their friends, and coworkers.
I hope some of the couples hold commemorative parties there.


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