What was supposed to be a joyous
occasion for a gay male couple turned into a homophobic nightmare in
Baja California on Friday.
After more than 19 months of legal
wrangling, Victor Aguirre Espinoza, 43, and Fernando Urias Amparo,
37, were set to become the first gay couple to marry in Baja
California. The men, both hairstylists, have been together 10 years.
A ruling from the Mexican Supreme Court
paved the way for the couple to exchange vows in Mexicali, the state
A group of roughly 12 protesters
greeted the wedding party outside the Mexicali City Hall where the
couple was to wed.
But even as a judge stood by to marry
the men and their names were listed in the civil registry, city
officials claimed they “knew nothing” about the marriage.
“Mexicali official refuses to perform
ceremony for gay couple saying 'I know nothing,'” Sandra Dibble of
The San Diego Union-Tribune tweeted.
The refusal was followed by a bomb
threat and the entire building was evacuated.
When the couple returned later in the
day, officials turned them away a second time citing paperwork
problems, including inconsistencies with the men's birth
“These are dirty strategies,” Urias
told the paper. “They are not respecting a federal order.”
It was uncertain how long it would take
to clear up the issues, but the men remained upbeat, saying they
would proceed with a planned party for Friday night.