As a protest against gentrification, a Seattle woman has decided to marry a building. She has entered into this with much the same forethought and wisdom that goes into many marriages.
On her Facebook page, Babylonia Aivaz says, "Yes, I'm in love with a 107 year old building! Yes, ITS A GAY MARRIAGE! How is that possible? Well there must obviously be a deeper story..." That story, apparently, is that Aivaz and 15 fellow activists occupied the warehouse at 10th and Union Sts., hoping "to reclaim it as a community center to address the needs of our neighborhood: communal artspace, free childcare, etc." It didn't work:
The warehouse is slated to be demolished in a week to make way for luxury apartments whose destiny is to disintegrate our unique creative culture and render our neighborhood even more unaffordable. Why couldn't we have had a community artspace and museum there instead? What our neighborhood and the world needs is more togetherness, collaboration, and sharing not corporate gentrification.
So Aivaz decided to marry the warehouse. She apparently did so on Sunday — she wasn't sure if the marriage was legal, but she did get an ordained minister to run the ceremony. At left, Aivaz explains the reasons for her nuptials.
Aivaz's assertion that her warehouse-to-be was a lady-building was kind of funny. But some felt it caused political problems. Says one commenter on Aivaz's page, "while the anti-corporate personhood angle is admirable, this is giving those [National Organization for Marriage] idiots a huge gift and actually works against LGBT Marriage Equality." And according to KOMO, a number of protesters held signs reading "This is not a gay marriage" at the wedding. Said one, Phoenix Lopez, "With the delicate nature of Washington state and the attempt to legalize gay marriage, I find her saying it's a gay marriage disrespectful." Given all this, there might have been a better way to show opposition to corporate greed than gay-marrying a building. Aivaz may not have thought through her wedding's implications for the gay marriage movement — in the interview above, she seems to have more enthusiasm than concrete ideas. Then again, so do many young people blinded by love.