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Couple renews its vows in support of gay marriage

February 13, 2009 | 12:25 pm

Dozens of people appeared at a Beverly Hills courthouse this morning to watch two well-known figures in the gay community renew their wedding vows. Standing under a white chuppah and dressed in matching cream-colored suits, Robin Tyler, 66, and Diane Olson, 55, repeated the words they first spoke last June when they were married in a Jewish ceremony.

The two were the original plaintiffs in a 2004 lawsuit challenging the same-sex marriage ban. After their wedding four years later, they believed they were one of the 18,000 same-sex couples legally married. Since the passage of Proposition 8 -- which recognizes marriage as only between a man and a woman as valid in California-- the couple’s marriage has been unsanctioned. They have since filed a lawsuit with the California Supreme Court arguing the amendment should not be retroactive.

“It’s not about marriage,” Tyler said. “Now it’s about the Constitution.”

After the exchange of vows, the couple shared a red, heart-shaped cake screen-printed with the images of all seven California Supreme Court justices and the words, “Our hearts are in your hands.” Same-sex couples then walked inside the courthouse and attempted to obtain a marriage license but were denied by the same clerk who, just last year, had been able to grant one to Tyler and Olson.

The demonstration was part of the 12th annual Freedom to Marry Week, which features events nationwide in support of same-sex marriage.

-- Joanna Lin and Corina Knoll