clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Story of the First Public Same-Sex Marriage in the US

New, 106 comments

LA's gay history is everywhere, from the endangered former nightclub The Factory to Griffith Park. But in honor of today's landmark Supreme Court decision on marriage equality, why not go and take a look at a particularly special site—this modest Huntington Park house, described by TIME magazine as the house where the first public gay marriage ceremony took place back in 1968.

At the time, the house was the location of the Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles; the religious organization, founded in October of that year by Reverend Troy D. Perry, was open to LGBT members, as explained on MCC's website. The first MCC service had 12 attendees. In December 1968, the reverend performed the ceremony for two men (it was, of course, not legally binding then). More marriages followed. In March 1969, the reverend oversaw the marriage of two women; their wedding would go on, says an MCC historian, to be "the basis for the world's first lawsuit seeking recognition of same-gender marriage." (Some sources cite this union as the first same-sex marriage, but agree that whichever couple was first, it was Rev. Perry who officiated.)

The residence's connections to LGBT rights and visibility don't end there. It's also considered to be the place where idea for the first PRIDE parade was conceived and where the the organization that produced the first PRIDE parade, Christopher Street West, was founded.
· Mapping Los Angeles's Groundbreaking Role in LGBT History [Curbed LA]
· Mapping Los Angeles's Groundbreaking Role in LGBT History [Curbed LA]