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San Diego: 'I am a Marine. I like to do things first'

June 17, 2008 |  8:54 am

Kiss Amid flowers and tears and balloons, Bob Lehman and Tom Felkner became San Diego’s first same-sex married couple. Lehman, a former Marine, and Felkner were married by Lehman’s brother, Jeff, a retired Marine.

“I’m a Marine. I like to do things first,” said Bob Lehman. The couple, both 43, have lived together for 15 years. Throughout the early morning hours, same-sex couples streamed into the county building to get their licenses. Four county employees were stationed on the broad lawn outside to perform weddings.

The second couple, Bonnie Russell, 64, and Jan Garbosky, 61, both retired teachers, plan an October wedding, but wanted to be early in getting the license. “We’re old marrieds, but we are not yet married,” said Russell.

As couples emerged from the building with their licenses, cheers went up from family and friends. Some couples brought their children, their parents, and business associates. A lone protester stood on the sidewalk and cried out a message against same-sex marriage.

“It’s just not right for a man to marry a man, it’s just not normal,” said the protester, Dennis Agajanian, a member of Bikers for Christ. But his protest was largely drowned out by supporters and well-wishers. “Love is in the air today,” said Margaux Lanoie, a volunteer with the Equality for All Campaign.

-- Tony Perry

Photo:  AP

Bob Lehman, left, and Tom Felkner share a kiss during their ceremony.