John M. Becker

CA Wedding Interrupted by Hateful Anti-Gay Slurs

Filed By John M. Becker | September 23, 2014 10:15 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: California, Coronado, coward, gay marriage, heckling, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, San Diego, shameful, wedding, wedding ceremony

coronado-gay-wedding-interrupted.jpgLast month, a gay couple from Arizona traveled to the resort city of Coronado, California for what was supposed to be a romantic waterfront wedding surrounded by family and friends (including bisexual Arizona congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema). Instead, they were hatefully harassed by a cowardly, homophobic heckler who repeatedly interrupted the ceremony by anonymously shouting anti-gay slurs from inside a million-dollar condo complex next door. San Diego's KGTV reports:

Arizonans Oscar De Las Salas and Gary Jackson - frequent visitors to San Diego - picked Coronado's Centennial Park for their Aug. 17 wedding. Some 30 guests from across the country flew in, including an Arizona congresswoman.

Around sunset that day, the happy couple walked in, took their positions and stood in a grassy spot near the water. The music died down and the shouting began. Cellphone video shows the officiant standing in front of the couple while someone is shouting the words "homos" and "go home homos."

The shouts were loud and unmistakable. From the balcony of a nearby pricey condo complex, the couple and their wedding guests heard a string of homophobic slurs.

"He really wanted to humiliate the people there. He said, 'go home fags,'" said wedding musician David De Alva. Whenever De Alva looked up, he said the balconies appeared empty. But throughout the service, the slurs kept coming.

De Las Salas said that the shouting continued as the couple recited their vows, and that "everyone stopped and turned" because it was so ugly and distracting. A victim of childhood bullying, he told KGTV's Michael Chen that even as he married his husband, he was afraid for his life. "It was a moment of fear," De Las Salas said. "I'm thinking, 'God forbid this person has a gun and decides to open fire.'"

The couple says they have received apologies from the city of Coronado and the condo complex, but adds that their wedding-day memories will forever be tainted by the anonymous coward's cruelty. "He took from me, my husband, and my guests a moment of joy, a simple moment of joy," De Las Salas said.

Watch a report from KGTV's Chen, after the break.

Kudos to this couple for speaking out about the pain and humiliation they went through thanks to that cowardly bigot (who wasn't even man enough to show his face). Frankly, with as many frightened and angry homophobes as there still are in this country, I'm surprised we haven't seen more stories like this. Here's hoping this incident in Coronado doesn't inspire any copycats.

h/t: Towleroad.

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