Goin’ to the chapel
Gay couples have booked up San Francisco’s City Hall since the California Supreme Court overturned a ban on same-sex marriage a month ago. But don’t worry about being in a pinch for a wedding spot: There are actually places you can get married right here in town. City officials announced the other night that our own City Hall will be one of them, which some described as an historic step for a city that has not always had an, ahem, open attitude toward gays. “We’re working on setting up a process very soon to have marriages here in City Hall. If you would like to be married in Alameda, we can help set that up for you,” Mayor Beverly Johnson said at the City Council meeting Tuesday night, after issuing a proclamation to recognize the contributions of the Island’s gay and lesbian residents. Apparently, Johnson and Councilwoman Marie Gilmore are both marriage commissioners. Maybe they’ll officiate if you ask nicely. If it’s a church wedding you’re after, The Island knows of two places you can go. First up is the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, at 1912 Central Avenue. The church’s the Rev. Laura Rose says she plans to wed her partner there herself, this August. “Right now, we’re open to couples in Alameda or beyond who would like to get married and have a spiritual ceremony along with the legal one,” says the Rev. Rose, whose church had been performing blessings of civil ceremonies before the ruling. She’s thrilled to be able to perform marriages now. “At the end of a heterosexual couple’s ceremony, you say, ‘By the power invested in me.’ I can’t wait to say that for a gay couple,” she says. You can get more information in the coming days on the church’s website or by calling 522-6012. Buena Vista United Methodist Church will also be performing same-sex marriages, church staffer Austin Tam told us after checking in with Pastor Michael Yoshii. (The church is a reconciling congregation, meaning that it, like First Congregational, welcomes gays and lesbians.) The church’s website is here; to inquire about your wedding, call 522-2688. They’re at 2311 Buena Vista Avenue.