A Seattle woman recently exchanged one-sided wedding vows with an abandoned warehouse building that is set to be demolished to make way for a new apartment building.
In December, Babylonia Aivaz and 16 friends occupied the warehouse, located on 10th and Union streets, to protest the planned development of an apartment complex on the site.
"Gentrification is happening," Aivaz said. "It's a serious issue that affects poor people and especially people of color and this is just the beginning of the fight."
Calling it a "gay marriage," Aivaz was asked by the attending minister if she would "love and cherish and protect this warehouse."
Aivaz reportedly responded in verse, quoting the Cat Power song "Sea of Love."
"Come with me my love, to the sea, the sea of love. I want to tell you how much I love you."
She then added her own verses:
"Do you remember when we met? I cleaned your rooms and washed your floors, built community, opened some doors. You changed my life. I'll never forget the day we met. I'll cherish your community sprit until the day I die."
After the ceremony, a large banner reading, "I Do" was hung outside the building as the estimated 50 attendees sang, "Lean on Me." Nonetheless, demolition on the building began ahead of schedule, starting last Friday.
Aivaz caused some unintended controversy with her ceremony. A pair of protestors showed up to the event, objecting to her use of the term "gay marriage" because it weakens the fight to legal same-sex marriage in the state.
"With the delicate nature of Washington state and the attempt to legalize gay marriage, I find her saying it's a gay marriage disrespectful," Phoenix Lopez told KOMO.
"Her saying it's a gay marriage sets the community back with Christians and politicians and gives them a chance to say, 'See, we told you, they're going to want to marry everything if we give them the opportunity,'" added fellow protestor Johnny McCollum-Blair. "Having compassion against something you love, I understand, but to call it a gay union is irresponsible."
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