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Gay wedding interrupted by hateful rant

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Posted at 12:53 PM, Sep 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-23 13:24:54-04

A gay couple is sharing their story about a dream wedding day that took a hateful turn in California.

From the smiles in the photos, you can see the joy of their wedding day. By the end of the wedding, that joy turned into frustration.

Arizonans Oscar De Las Salas and Gary Jackson – frequent visitors to San Diego – picked Coronado's Centennial Park for their Aug. 17 wedding. Some 30 guests from across the country flew in, including an Arizona congresswoman.

Around sunset that day, the happy couple walked in, took their positions and stood in a grassy spot near the water. The music died down and the shouting began.

Cell-phone video shows the officiant standing in front of the couple while someone is shouting the words "homos" and "go home homos."

The shouts were loud and unmistakable. From the balcony of a nearby pricey condo complex, the couple and their wedding guests heard a string of homophobic slurs.

"He really wanted to humiliate the people there. He said, 'go home f***,'" said wedding musician David De Alva.

See video from ABC10 news

Whenever De Alva looked up, he said the balconies appeared empty. But throughout the service, the slurs kept coming.

In one photo, Jackson can be seen looking and turning toward the yelling.

"During the wedding vows, everyone stopped and turned," said De Las Salas.

As the moment of wedded bliss approached, De Las Salas – who was bullied as a child – was consumed with another emotion.

"It was a moment of fear," he said. "I'm thinking, 'God forbid this person has a gun and decides to open fire.'"

It is a fear that lingered in his mind even as the two kissed.

Weeks later, those slurs continue to linger.                                 

"It's just sad that that is now ingrained for the rest of our lives in our wedding day," said Jackson. "That person took a chunk of what should have been a beautiful day and turned it into something nasty and full of hate."

De Las Salas said, "He took from me, my husband, and my guests a moment of joy, a simple moment of joy."

The couple did write letters to the city of Coronado and the condo complex's HOA and received letters that included apologies.