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Philadelphia Mayor Street to Officiate at Gay Commitment Ceremony

This Saturday, Philadelphia Mayor John Street will officiate at a commitment ceremony for his deputy secretary of external affairs, Micah Mahjoubian (below, left), and Mahjoubian's partner John Bunch.

StreetThe ceremony is making headlines because Street was "once regarded as Public Enemy No. 1 of the gay community" according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The paper reports: "With 125 guests expected, it will resemble in every way a traditional wedding but will have no legal standing, since Pennsylvania prohibits gay marriage. Mahjoubian, 33, and Ryan Bunch, 32, will wear matching black tuxedos with orange vests. There will be a 10-person wedding party; each groom's best man happens to be a woman. Mahjoubian and Bunch will say their vows, exchange wedding rings, then leave for a reception at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology...For Mahjoubian and Bunch, it's as much a political statement as a show of their love before family and friends. For Street, who has performed fewer than 10 weddings as mayor, it's anything but. 'Micah is my friend. He has been in my campaign and has been in my administration for eight years,' Street said. Currently, Mahjoubian is his deputy secretary of external affairs. 'I've come to respect him as a person, and if this is something he would like for me to do, then I'd like to do it for him.'"

MahjoubianStill, while Street's presence certainly makes a statement and his evolution on gay and lesbian issues during his term is praised by many, according to the Inquirer, the Mayor still wanted to make very clear during an interview what the ceremony isn't:

"It's not marriage. It's not real marriage. They can't be married...It's not a religious ceremony. I mean, it's not really marriage."

And that's a statement of assurance from the Seventh-Day Adventist, not of regret.

Street's Gay About Face [philadelphia inquirer]

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Comments

  1. I think our esteemed Mayor has higher aspirations. I don't know what else he could run for in Pennsylvania(the Alabama of the North)...maybe he'll run for something in New Jersey. They'll vote for anybody over there.

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Nov 19, 2007 2:10:20 PM


  2. Maybe he can take pictures of the ceremony with his iPhone.

    Posted by: crispy | Nov 19, 2007 2:14:49 PM


  3. Those dudes should absolutely not be wearing orange at the ceremony. There are only a few types of men who can wear orange, and none of them are pale and white.

    Posted by: Paul | Nov 19, 2007 2:25:47 PM


  4. If you grew up Seventh-Day Adventist--like I did--you would know that this is a HUGE step for the Mayor (especially for someone of his generation). While he may have tripped over himself one too many times in saying that it wasn't really marriage (which is isn't--unfortunately), this is a very supportive step for a practicing SDA.

    Posted by: Dan | Nov 19, 2007 4:17:53 PM


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