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Warehouse fiancé: US woman to ‘gay-marry’ historical building

Published time: January 28, 2012 14:14
Edited time: January 28, 2012 18:14
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Seattle has an interesting choice about how to spend this Sunday: a barbeque, an Occupy event or Babylonia Aivaz’s wedding…to a 107-year-old building. And Aivaz needs to do it quick: demolition of the warehouse has already begun.

­Babylonia says she hopes to save the abandoned building for a community center. The Occupy activist has to stand up to developer Seawest, which would rather use the space for a luxury apartment complex. Aivaz firmly opposes this act of gentrification, which she says would hit the poorer members of the neighborhood with increased rent.

If corporations can have rights as people, so can buildings,” the “bride” told American Komonews, referencing a Supreme Court decision on political advertising. “I’m doing this to show the building how much I love it, how much I love community space and how much I love this neighborhood. And I want to stop it from gentrification.”

Aivaz says she fell head over heals with the building after joining a 200-strong Occupy Seattle protest inside the building last month.

Yes, I’m in love with a 107-year-old building! Yes, it’s a gay marriage! How is that possible? Well there must obviously be a deeper story,” Aivaz wrote in her Facebook invitation to the wedding.

In December, Aivaz and 16 other activists “Occupied” the warehouse, believing this piece of heritage should be reclaimed as community space.

When demolition began this week, Aivaz put on her wedding dress and went to the site, climbing equipment to attract attention to her cause. Despite the cranes still towering gloomily at the spot, Aivaz says the ceremony is going to take place on Sunday at 1pm, with anyone willing invited to attend. And afterwards, the party can always carry on at an Occupy event planned for the evening.