by Rex Wockner
SAN DIEGO, CALIF.
Out lesbian San Diego City Councilwoman Toni Atkins and her partner of eight years, Jennifer LeSar, got married Sept. 6 at the Lodge at Torrey Pines along the coast on the city's north side.
A May ruling by the California Supreme Court legalized marriage for same-sex couples.
"It felt wonderful," Atkins said in a Sept. 11 interview. "I feel completely different as a couple now. I wasn't sure if we'd feel different afterwards as a married couple, after having been together for about eight years, although we didn't live together until this year. But we both agree that it feels different. It feels more real, I guess I have to say.
"I felt my commitment was real before but somehow this feels even more so, if that makes sense."
Atkins said "people cried, particularly Jennifer's mother."
"She was very happy for us."
The ceremony, attended by "just a handful of very close friends," was conducted by City Council President Scott Peters.
The couple said the timing of their wedding was affected by the looming threat to same-sex marriage in California.
On Nov. 4, voters will have a chance to amend the state constitution to undo the Supreme Court ruling and possibly prevent same-sex couples from marrying in the future, though gay activist lawyers are ready with an array of tactics to thwart the amendment's coming into force should voters pass it.
Three recent polls have found that between 51 percent and 54 percent of California voters oppose the amendment and between 40 percent and 42 percent support it.