Caught in a whirlwind of same-sex weddings
For one rabbi in Los Angeles, multiple ceremonies each weekend are the new norm.
October 20, 2008 | By Carla Hall
Just minutes before donning her prayer shawl, Rabbi Lisa Edwards beckoned the couple she was about to marry and sat them down to run through her checklist. As usual, Edwards had meticulously compiled notes about the ceremony in the pages of a giant black binder.
She reviewed the lineup of guests who would read during the ceremony of the two men.
“Lee and Marvin,” she said, naming Josh Wayser’s mother and her husband.
“It’s ‘Martin,’ ” Wayser corrected her.
She grimaced. “I hate when I get the names wrong,” she said, scribbling changes in her notes. “I don’t usually get the names wrong.”
But then, she usually doesn’t have so many names to remember.
At the beginning of May, Edwards, the rabbi of the Beth Chayim Chadashim synagogue in Los Angeles’ Fairfax district, had a single wedding on her calendar. Then the California Supreme Court struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage in mid-May.
Between mid-June, when gay couples could legally begin marrying, and the first weekend of November, she will have performed more than 40 weddings. All but one are same-sex unions. And that’s not counting her own wedding in July to her longtime partner, Tracy Moore, a fundraiser for public radio, which was presided over by a rabbi and State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.