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Plaque to Mark First Days of Marriage Equality in West Hollywood

Westhollywoodpark

West Hollywood Park, adjacent to North San Vicente Boulevard in West Hollywood, where dozens of the first same-sex weddings were performed in June 2008, will have that moment commemorated with a bronze plaque inscribed with a quote from Nelson Mandela, according to the L.A. Times.

Mandela he plaque will read: "I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity."

Said WeHo Mayor Jeffrey Prang: "It happened on a single day but it went on for months. And it meant something much bigger than that. When same-sex marriage was declared legal by the court, all eyes gravitated toward West Hollywood and San Francisco."

(image above by flickr user TomChatt)

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  1. Great! And a great location (so says the one-time Weho tourist from Dublin)!

    Mayor Prang is right in how this should be interpreted: the monument should be viewed as a milestone along the road to equality and symbolic of an important moment in history, rather than a memorial to something past or lost. Why does Queen Latifah's 'I know where I've been' keep echoing in my head?

    BTW: does anyone know where Mandela's lovely and wholly appropriate quote is taken from?

    Posted by: Sean R | Aug 21, 2009 8:57:34 AM


  2. Sorry, but given the enormous out-pouring of racist bile from the white gay community against the black community, using Mandela is the height of irony at the least and almost an insult.

    maybe they should have used Milk? y'know cause he's milky white AND gay?

    Posted by: Davey | Aug 21, 2009 10:29:01 AM


  3. Good idea for a plaque, although the text of this particular quote seems more intent on commemorating the subsequent oppression of Prop 8 (which will ultimately prove temporary) than the celebration and example that those initial ceremonies represented.

    A plaque is particularly needed since the entire site shown in the photo has now been obliterated by the (long-overdue and much-needed) renovation of West Hollywood Park, currently underway. For those of you who weren't there: the City had seven of those pavilions set up for a week, a local florist provided the arbors and roses and, with the weather and the trees thrown in, they provided a more pleasant environment than anyone seeking a civil ceremony might have expected (I was married in the one on the right). There was enough space and time for people to have as many guests as they wanted. They weren't so close that weddings were crowding on top of one another, yet the presence of multiple wedding parties in the park at once gave the area an incredible positive energy.

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Aug 21, 2009 12:44:08 PM


  4. I hate to be all parade rainer here, but, whatever that plaque cost, the $ could have been used to hepl the large population of HIV + and Seniors that reside in Weho.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Aug 21, 2009 4:04:54 PM


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