Gay Eco-sexual Wedding Performance Cancelled by LA County Parks, California


Press Release from The Purple Wedding Team

On Friday Oct 8th, well known performance artist Annie Sprinkle received a call from LA County Parks & Recreation Deputy Director, Kathleen Ritner, informing her that her rental contract for her wedding at the Farnsworth Amphitheatre in Altadena had been canceled due to “unsafe conditions” created by the public announcement of the wedding inviting people to witness their “eco-sexual” wedding , in which Ms Sprinkle would make vows with her long time romantic and performing partner Beth Stephens under the auspices of the full moon.

In 2004, Sprinkle and Stephens had an appointment at San Francisco City Hall to get legally married, but the day before they were to get married, the weddings were stopped by court order. It was then that Ms. Sprinkle and Ms. Stephens decided to have a series of art weddings in which they would commit themselves, including a legal wedding in Canada.

The Los Angeles marriage was to take place Oct 23 at the Farnsworth Amphitheatre, in Altadena, where weddings are often held throughout the year. While drafting their contract Sprinkle and Stephens told the rental office they were expecting around 400 people at the wedding, at least 100 of them performers and artists helping them create the wedding. They hired the recommended number of security guards and proceeded to mail 120 hand made invitations, and also posted the wedding announcement on various social sites and alerted interested media. After commentary about the wedding appeared on the popular local “Altadena Blog,” Sprinkle received a call from Ritner, who cited security concerns by unnamed Los Angeles county law enforcement personnel. (…)

Since many free events are held at Farnsworth and advertised widely, both over the Internet and through print publications, including teen music nights, concerts, and charity events, since the venue has a capacity well in excess of that expected by the wedding organizers, and since the cancellation occurred abruptly without an opportunity to hire additional security to deal with additional individuals that the LA police believed might attend, Sprinkle, Stephens and their wedding co-creators believe that the cancellation is in direct response to the gender of the brides, and the environmental activist themes of their vows. The wedding is to be officiated by Reverend Billy, a NYC based preacher-performer who said, “It is bad enough that same sex marriage is illegal in California but now even the performance of a same sex marriage is called un-safe.”

Sprinkle & Stephens have no plans to cancel the wedding. They have requested that the County of Los Angeles rescind its cancellation, and allow Sprinkle and Stephens to use the Farnsworth venue for the commitment ceremony, and are hopeful that the County will see the error it has made. (…)

The self-identified eco-sexual couple say, “Nothing can stop us from celebrating our love for each other, and for our Earth.” (…)
[Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens are now looking for an alternative venue for their Purple Wedding performance on October 23 2010.]

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