What equality looks like: scenes from some historic Asian American weddings during San Francisco Pride

July 1, 2013 1:20 PM

Sandra Hernandez and Mailee Wang finally got their June wedding--to each other.

So did Nick Montesa and Adrian Chang--after 20 years of partnership.

San Francisco got the jump on history, opening its City Hall for business over the weekend with the Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8 having cleared the way for same-sex marriage in California.
 
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On Saturday, nearly 250 marriages were granted, and 188 were performed. But before the parade on Sunday, there was one last challenge by the Republican party and Prop 8's Protect Marriage sponsors to stop them all.

When Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy refused to vacate the ruling, the Sunday weddings were allowed to continue.

It allowed Hernandez and Wang and Montesa and Chang to go forward with the ceremonies they had long been waiting for.

For Hernandez and Wang, it was all about being "official," and taking advantage of an opportunity that could easily be blocked by yet another challenge. As they held their 16-month-old Zoila, they said that despite having had a commitment ceremony, they wanted the real thing. When they heard about the Supreme Court's ruling earlier in the week, they didn't hesitate to come down to City Hall during the Pride Celebration for what became a tearful ceremony. 

 
Montesa and Chang, partners for more than 20 years, decided to wait until it was the right time. They regretted missing out five years ago when Prop 8 passed and ended a window when marriage was allowed.

But when DOMA granted federal recognition and Prop 8 was thrown out, it was as if the planets had lined up.

"This was the right time," said Montesa, 50, an immigrant from the Philippines who came to America as a young adult and met Chang, 47, a Vietnamese immigrant in San Jose. 

Chang couldn't hold back tears, as the two exchanged vows.

The ceremony wasn't exactly picture perfect. But it counted.
 

It was legal, and fully recognized by the federal government.

It was more than wedded bliss. It was true equality, at long last.
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Updates at www.amok.com. Follow Emil on Twitter, @emilamok.


Posted by:Emil Guillermo

The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the views or policies of AALDEF.

1 comments

1. this is beautiful, thanks guillermo!
Posted by: Mailee Wang | Oct 23, 2013 4:50 PM


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