After legal battle, California's first lesbian wedding takes place - under the huppa

Robin Tyler and her partner Diane Olson, were allowed to receive their marriage license at 5:01 p.m. on June 16.

lesbian huppa 224 88 (photo credit: Kelly Hartog)
lesbian huppa 224 88
(photo credit: Kelly Hartog)
Following the California Supreme Court's 4-3 decision in May allowing same-sex couples to marry, thousands of Californians will be flocking to their local city hall and courthouses on June 17. However, local Jewish woman Robin Tyler and her partner Diane Olson, were allowed to receive their marriage license at 5:01 p.m. on June 16. The couple were wed under a huppa by a local rabbi on the Beverly Hills Courthouse steps shortly after 5 p.m. Tyler, 66, and Olson, 54, have been together for 15 years and were the first same-sex couple in Los Angeles County to apply for a marriage license at the Beverly Hills Courthouse on Valentine's Day 2004. When their application was rejected the couple took their fight all the way to the California Supreme Court. Dean Logan, acting Los Angeles County registrar, said in a statement that the decision to allow Tyler and Olson to marry earlier was "in recognition of their unique role in the court's decision." In an interview several days before their marriage, Tyler said, "We're going back to get married at ground zero of the fight for same-sex marriage in California, which is Beverly Hills." The couple - dressed in cream-colored pantsuits - turned up at the Beverly Hills Courthouse at 4 p.m. in a white limousine, where they were greeted to great applause and cheers by dozens of friends, family, community members and a slew of press. Several minutes earlier, the couple's attorney - Gloria Allred - arrived, declaring that this was "a great moment," not just for Tyler and Olson but for all of California. As the couple made their way up the steps, Allred hugged both of them and said "You are the first couple to get that license that you were denied in 2004, 2005, 2006, 7 and 8. But today we're going to get that license and you're going to be married!" The couple took the media blitz in stride, with Tyler summing everything up in one short, sentence: "We just love each other," she said, smiling, before the soon-to-be-wed pair made their way into the courthouse. At 5:01 p.m., they emerged to raucous applause, wolf whistles and cries of "Mazal Tov!" and "congratulations!" by those who had spent an hour patiently waiting outside. The energy was electric and the shouts of support drowned out the dozen or so protestors who arrived with large banners decrying homosexuality, and calling on the couple to repent. Walking under the huppa - a simple tallis on four wooden poles, the couple stood shoulder to shoulder with Allred, as Rabbi Denise Eger of the Reform Synagogue Congregation Kol Ami in West Hollywood, who is also an active member of the Human Rights Campaign Religious Council, performed the marriage ceremony. One of the huppa holders was gay Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who beamed from ear to ear and screamed wildly before giving a thumbs up sign, as Tyler and Olson emerged from the courthouse. Eger performed a traditional ceremony, complete with the exchange of rings, reading of the ketuba, drinking from a kiddush cup and the smashing of a glass by the couple. Throughout the ceremony, the couple passed a handkerchief between them, dabbing their eyes. When the ceremony was over, they held each other tightly and wept openly before joining Allred in pumping their arms in victory. Following the ceremony, Allred hosted a special reception for the couple and their families at the nearby Beverly Hills L'Ermitage Hotel.