The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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North Hills newlyweds fell in love 35 years ago

A limousine pulled up to the Beverly Hills Courthouse on June 16 with two women inside who have been in a relationship for about 15 years.

Large crowds of media surrounded the couple as they made their way inside to create a new chapter in the history books.

“Who are you guys waiting for?” asked Robin Tyler, one of the women getting married.

“You!” replied members of the media.

When Tyler, 66, stepped out of the limousine with her partner, Diane Olson, 55, she was overtaken by joy to see the large number of friends, family and media who came to support their love and marriage.

“When we got out of the limo at the wedding and saw all the media, I thought that Paris Hilton got arrested again,” Tyler said. “I couldn’t believe they were all here for us.”

After one week of marriage, the couple is pinching themselves in disbelief.

“Every muscle in my face hurt that day from smiling,” Olson said. “It was so surreal. This is really happening. It was so emotional.”

Their love story began 35 years ago when Tyler befriended Olson’s sister.

One day, Olson went to pick up her sister from Tyler’s house and astounded her, and she said that Tyler astounded her.

They quickly became friends. When Olson broke up with her then girlfriend, she turned to Tyler for support and the two became closer in the process.

“I went there to heal,” Olson said. “I was worried that I might just be dating on the rebound, so I didn’t want to start dating, but we couldn’t help it.”

A couple of months into the relationship, Olson was about to celebrate her fortieth birthday.

She planned a beach day with some of her friends, but Tyler insisted that she would take her out to dinner instead, the couple said.

While at dinner, Tyler asked Olson to be her wife, and the latter said she would think about it. A month later, Olson accepted the proposal and their love story began to unravel because of a state ban. In 2001, the couple applied for a marriage license, but they were denied.

In 2004, Tyler said she grew frustrated when she discovered that she could not include Olson in her insurance plan because it did not cover domestic partners. When the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) denied their claim, Tyler said she turned to longtime friend and discrimination attorney Gloria Allred for help.

“She did it as my friend first, then (as) my attorney,” Tyler said.

After four years of fighting for the right to get married, Tyler and Olson were finally able to do so. They chose the Beverly Hills Courthouse as their venue, which previously denied them a marriage license.

“We had to get married at the Beverly Hills Courthouse,” Olson said. “It’s like ground zero for us.”

Upon arriving, the couple was faced with harsh judgment from protestors.

“They don’t exist to us,” Tyler said. “We are talking about love, and they are talking about hate and Hell.”

“To hide behind the Bible is outrageous,” Tyler said. “We’re not anti-religion, but they use religion to try and exclude us.”

Olson said, “Let them do it. It makes them look more mean-spirited.”

Once they got through the crowd, Tyler and Olsen made their way into the courthouse and got their marriage license. At exactly 5:02 p.m., they came outside and met with friends and family.

“We had hearts coming out of our heads,” Olson said.

The couple was taken aback by the beautiful ceremony that their friends and family had put together for them.

A bakery called Cake and Art donated the cake and everyone had chipped in for flowers and drinks. Rabbi Denise Eger officiated the ceremony free of charge.

With the wedding over, Tyler and Olson say they continue their fight as activists.

“We just want total equal rights,” Tyler said. “The marriage thing is great, but we want equality in every way.”

The couple has high hopes that society will be more accepting of homosexuality in the near future.

“It’s a generation away,” Tyler said. “I want to see it in my lifetime, but either way in the next generation homosexuality will not be an issue.”

Tyler’s advice to young activists is “to have the courage to go out and just do it.”

When thinking back to their wedding, Tyler said, “California needed a little healing. It is going through tough times with the economy, and we needed to light it up with love. Who doesn’t like a good love story?” Tyler said.

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