wedding never would have happened if San Francisco's mayor, Gavin Newsom, had not been
such a courageous man. I also should mention Nancy Alfaro, the city clerk, who
made the necessary changes to give marriage licenses to same-sex-couples.
Valentine's Day 2004: Daniel and Frank
anxiously stood in line before the entrance to San Francisco's City Hall.
Daniel clutched a bouquet of irises in his hand. They were nervous. Would Joe
and Dan, Franks friends from Chicago, make it for their wedding in time?
The past week had started like so many others during their 9Â½ year
Then, on Thursday evening, on the way
home, Daniel had heard on the radio that Gavin Newsom, San Francisco's major,
wanted to open City Hall, and give gay and lesbian couples a chance to get
married. In the evening they discussed it. First they were not sure. Then
Daniel had the persuading argument: "It is history that is unfolding in front of
us; let's be part of it!"
Originally they had planned Friday should be
the day. Unfortunately, as so often, Daniel had to work late. So the mayor's
announcement, that City Hall would stay open all weekend, was more than welcome.
On Friday night they called their families and friends and told them about their
plans. Everybody was supportive. Frank's old friend Joe had promised him: "If
you ever get married, I will be there," and now Joe and his friend Dan were on
their way. They should have landed by now, and met Ramon, Daniels brother, who
was picking them up. Shortly after 11 a.m. Frank saw them running towards the
building, and together they entered City Hall.
Once inside, where they had to verify their
signature, Frank felt a tap on the shoulder. It turned out to be a cameraman
from CNN who asked for permission to film their ceremony. Keeping a
respectful distance, he followed them to the upper level.
Then, in front of Marq
and Ramon, their witnesses, under the watchful eye of the camera, they exchanged
their vows. They gave each other rings, which they already had worn for several
At 7 p.m. that night they saw the clip from their wedding ceremony
on CNN for the first time. It kept popping up each time San Francisco's
weddings were the topic: from ABC Eye Witness News to the local Channel
After Fox News showed the clip in Los
Angeles, they got calls from Daniel's cheering family. They even saw
the clip on Spanish TV while they were on their honeymoon in Spain. Sometimes the clips were
very short, but they always recognized the white shirts they had worn that
Reception, "yes" or "no"? Family and friends
tipped the scale to the "yes" side. "When we started to look for a place, we
realized we were 1Â½ years behind with planning. We wanted to have it on
Memorial Day so that many of our out-of-town families could attend." They were
lucky and got a room in one of the Victorian houses of Preservation Park.
Frank's co-worker and the park's employee had recommended
Blue Heron Catering.
They met a few times with Lisa, the owner, talked about food, and picked out linen and
napkins. They decided on a Tapas
Table, the Spanish appetizers, that can be served
in larger or smaller portions. Lisa made suggestions and included a recipe
Daniel and Frank had brought back from Spain. The table decoration
was a single rose and a picture frame with a photo of the couple. Daniel knew
a mariachi band that provided dashing music.
Reflecting on the past three months, would
Frank and Daniel get married again? "Definitively," they said, "we did not know how
much this piece of paper meant to us."