By Gabriela Resto-Montero
CENTRAL PARK — There's nothing like a good, old-fashioned, un-wedding ceremony to celebrate Valentine's Day.
A dozen couples braved the cold at the Bethesda Fountain Sunday to un-exchange wedding vows in a mass "unmarriage ceremony" to protest laws banning same-sex couples from getting married.
Couples at the ceremony, officiated by Billy Talen, known as "Reverend Billy", of The Church of Life After Shopping, pledged to become "unmarried" until all people in New York are free to legally marry the partner of their choosing.
"We already got married because we didn't know any better," said Savitri D, 38, who became unmarried from her husband, Reverend Billy, at the ceremony Sunday.
"If everyone can't get married, no one should get married," D said.
Organizers held the ceremony at the Bethesda Fountain in honor of the role the angel played in Tony Kushner's pulitzer-prize winning play "Angels in America".
Donald Gallagher, 63, who told the crowd that he and his same-sex partner of 45 years were made for each other, said that the very term "civil union" sounded corporate and inadequate.
"It's just not what a radical fairy wants to be," Gallagher said of becoming part of a civil union, rather than a marriage.
Sunday's ceremony marked the second "unmarriage ceremony" from the Church of Life After Shopping but Talen said that, with Governor Andrew Cuomo signaling his support for gay marriage, it could well be the last.
Bringing marriage equality would particularly impact young LGBT people who face discrimination among their own family members and are often kicked out of their homes, Talen said.
"We as New Yorkers can come to their aid," he said.