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'It's definitely historic,' says gay marriage supporter in West Hollywood

August 4, 2010 |  3:58 pm

At Fiesta Cantina in West Hollywood, which was decorated with colorful balloons, several people watched  CNN's live coverage of the Prop. 8 decision.

Among the watchers was Robert Garcia, 26, who flew in Wednesday from Salt Lake City.

“I arrived at the right time at the right place,” Garcia said as he snacked on chips. “Oh my God. It’s going to be a party!”

Garcia said he believed the decision was “landmark.” “Finally it’s come … It’s the opening chapter for all other states,” he said. “It’s definitely historic.”

Garcia, a makeup artist, said he anticipated that he would start receiving invitations to friends’ weddings. “I might have to move to California,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll get a lot of jobs.”

Though he doesn’t have a partner currently, Garcia said he definitely wants to get married in the future.

Inside Block Party, “The Gayest Store on Earth,” owner Larry Block yelled out, “Repeal Prop. 8 shirts half price -- Thank God!” A gigantic rainbow flag with a yellow happy face hung above the inside doorway.

Block, 50, said the ruling was an “unbelievable thing” and made him wish he had grown up in a different time in history.

“I’m sorry I grew up in the last generation, when people believed being gay was taboo,” he said. “I should have been born 20 years later.”

As he rearranged bright green T-shirts, Block said, “I’m still young enough to get married though.”

Block said he couldn’t believe that gays can get married in Iowa but not here.

“We have a chance now to be a leader of a national movement to allow a guy to love a guy and to get married and have a family,” he said.

But he and his employee, Chris Garcia, 50, joked that people should be careful what they wish for. “Now there is going to be real drama in divorce court,” Garcia said.

Chris Garcia said he didn’t believe the battle was over.

“But it’s a lifeline,” Block said.

Mason Funk, 51, a film and television producer who lives in Silver Lake, got engaged to his partner last month and said in a phone interview that he felt optimistic after the judge’s ruling.

“Today I feel relieved,” he said. “It’s like a weight lifted off my shoulders.”

Funk said he followed the testimony closely and even flew up to San Francisco for a day to watch the proceedings in federal court. Funk said he and his fiancé weren’t ready to get married in 2008 and when they decided they were ready, gay marriage was no longer legal.

They are planning to hold a ceremony and celebration with friends and families next spring. “We’re not going to wait,” he said.

The couple didn’t consider going out of state to get married.

“One thing my partner and I share is that we are both from California and have deep connections to the state,” he said. “We decided we wouldn’t get married anywhere besides California.”

Even though a judge and not the people made the decision, Funk said he was “proud of California today.” But he anticipated a long battle ahead.

“I don’t have much confidence in the [Supreme] Court,” he said.

-- Anna Gorman in West Hollywood

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