Out of wedding game

Peace center says it refuses to discriminate against same-sex couples

The Chico Peace and Justice Center will no longer offer its garden or ordained ministers for wedding ceremonies, the center announced Jan. 8. The reason? It doesn’t want to assist with heterosexual weddings as long as same-sex couples can’t get married.

In May 2008, after the California Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution protected a fundamental right to marry for all couples, heterosexual or not, County Clerk Candace Grubbs announced her office would no longer perform civil marriage ceremonies. So the CP&JC stepped in, offering services free of charge.

But with the Nov. 4 passage of Proposition 8, the anti-gay-marriage measure, the center decided to get out of the wedding game. Susan Tchudi, a member of the center’s Board of Directors who often performed ceremonies, explained, “There was so much joy in marrying loving couples, both same-sex and heterosexual couples; however, I can no longer participate in a system that discriminates against a whole group of people.”