Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa officiated the wedding of the producer of the Oscar-winning film “American Beauty” and his partner of five years on June 23.
Villaraigosa, who was deputized to perform marriages, married Bruce Cohen, the producer, and Gabriel Catone, his partner, inside the mayor’s press conference room in downtown L.A. last Monday in front of their close friends and members of the press.
The marriage ceremony “unites two loyal hearts,” Villaraigosa said.
“Marriage is also a promise that takes a lifetime to fulfill,” Villaraigosa said. “Do you take (each other) to be your lawful wedded spouse?” The couple said, “I do.”
“You may kiss your spouse,” said Villaraigosa, who pronounced the couple legally married.
“So this is great. It’s been my great honor to officiate over the wedding of two friends,” Villaraigosa said. “Cheers!”
As everyone raised champagne-filled glasses in the air, Cohen said, “We just couldn’t be more thrilled. We’re so proud of the state of California,” referring to the majority decision of the state supreme court last month to strike down a voter-imposed ban on same-sex marriage.
After the small and short wedding ceremony, a member of the Church of Christ, who called herself an “angel of the Trinity,” interrupted the celebration. She walked to the podium to denounce the ceremony and call Villaraigosa an “adulterer.”
Moments after the mayor shooed her away, Hesperia resident Rosalyn Schultz said, “I don’t believe that gay marriage is morally right.” Schultz later warned that same-sex marriage would invite earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes.
“The Bible drove me to come,” Schultz said. “Sin is sin in any form, and I speak out against it.”
Cohen responded by saying, “This is America. That’s one of the great things about it.”
“People are entitled to their opinions? just ignore her. It doesn’t spoil our day, it doesn’t take away our joy and it certainly doesn’t change the fact that we are legally married in the state of California by the mayor of Los Angeles,” Cohen said.
Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, friends of the couple, said they were “thrilled beyond belief for two of our favorite people.”
Marshall and Kennedy said they were “thrilled because finally California might lead the way to making gay marriage legal (nationwide).”
The couple, Cohen, 46, and Catone, 35, will keep their last names, and they go on their honeymoon next month in India, “a place that will not be on e-mail,” Cohen said.