John M. Becker

Gay Couple Heckled at Wedding Will Get a Do-Over

Filed By John M. Becker | October 03, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

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

coronado-gay-wedding-interrupted.jpgRemember Oscar De Las Salas and Gary Jackson, the gay couple from Arizona whose dream wedding in Coronado, California was turned into a nightmare by an anonymous heckler who repeatedly shouted homophobic slurs?

Well, their story will now have a happy ending thanks to a group of equality-minded citizens and businesses, U-T San Diego reports:

Coronado residents and merchants have banded together in an extraordinary effort to save a wedding, and maybe even the city's reputation.

A "do-over" wedding is scheduled Oct. 11 at one of the city's fanciest hotels for a gay couple whose August nuptials in one of Coronado's bayside parks were marred by a heckler shouting hateful slurs.

The goal of the second ceremony is giving the couple a more positive experience and showing that Coronado is a welcoming community where discrimination won't be tolerated.

"The people of Coronado, who said they wouldn't tolerate what happened to us, have created a happy ending," said Oscar de Las Salas, who will marry Gary Jackson again next week. "We never expected this. It's incredible."

More, after the break.

Coronado mayor Casey Tanaka, who will officiate at the wedding next week, says the ugly and hateful harassment de Las Salas and Jackson received go against his community's values:

"The hateful shouts of one person should not serve as a representation of how our community as a whole behaves. I'm happy our city has a chance to make things right."

Four women -- Alisa Kerr, Rita Alipour, Kate Blumenthal, and Cerissa McPartlin Kieffe -- are leading the effort, and Kerr says the group has been overwhelmed by the community's generosity:

loews-coronado-wedding.jpgLoews Coronado Bay Resort donated a 300-seat venue, Coronado's Blue Bridge Hospitality restaurant chain will supply the food, Coronado Cupcakery is handling the wedding cake and Vigilucci's Ristorante contributed champagne for the toast, Kerr said. Many other local restaurants and merchants have also made contributions, she said.

"It's insane how much they're donating," said Kerr, whose planning partners are Rita Alipour, Kate Blumenthal and Cerissa McPartlin Kieffer. "I mean a Loews wedding on a Saturday -- I have no idea how much that would cost."

Loews Coronado managing director Brian Johnson estimates that a wedding like the one planned for Jackson and de Las Salas would cost between $15,000 and $20,000, and added that his resort was honored to take part in the couple's special day.

Image after the break from the Loews website.


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