NDP MLA Spencer Herbert to marry activist Romi Chandra this weekend

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      NDP MLA Spencer Herbert will marry his fiancé, Romi Chandra, in a “hybrid” civil ceremony that incorporates Hindu traditions this Saturday (March 27) in his Vancouver-West End riding.

      “It will be our 10-year anniversary,” Herbert, 28, told the Straight from his Vancouver constituency office. “It will be close family and friends. Nothing too fancy or over the top and nothing too traditional—just a way of celebrating with our family and celebrating all our friends who have helped us reach this point, and also as a way of looking to the next few years.”

      Chandra, a 30-year-old long-time community activist in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, proposed to Herbert two years ago. But “elections got in the way”, according to Herbert.

      Herbert won a byelection in the downtown riding in October 2008 and retained the seat in the May 2009 provincial election.

      Asked how he feels about getting married after such a long courtship, Herbert said, “It feels great.

      “It’s just another way of recommitting to each other and celebrating our love, because it’s still relatively new that two guys can get married as well,” he added. “It is a unique thing for our families and those around us too.”

      Because Chandra’s parents and family are practising Hindus, Herbert said the wedding will incorporate the Saptapadi (Sanskrit for “seven steps”). The couple will complete seven circuits of the holy fire, which is a witness to their vows to one another.

      Once the dust settles on the wedding, Herbert said he and Chandra will look into adopting.

      “We’re not doing a Madonna or an Angelina Jolie,” Herbert quipped. “We’re looking to do it within B.C. if that is possible, and certainly some friends of ours have done that. I think there are enough kids out there within our own province who need a parent, who need that kind of love. So we’re thinking of that one in the next two to three years, and this is just a way for us to celebrate our 10th anniversary with everybody who helped us get here.”

      It was at a Vancouver beach that the couple first met, by chance. Herbert insists it was “love at first sight”, but is quick to add the two did not exchange words for a couple of hours.

      “We kind of went, ”˜Oh, we’re not going to talk to each other, because we’re tired of people trying to pick people up on the beach.’”

      Herbert also noted in jest that the wedding “beats the HST”.

      “I was looking at the bill the other day and I just went, ”˜Hey, good timing, Romi. We didn’t do it in July.’”

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      Baby Jebus

      Mar 25, 2010 at 6:03pm


      Lizzy Faire

      Mar 25, 2010 at 6:22pm

      Mr. Burrows, it's fiancé, one 'e', due to the gender of the person in question.

      Congratulations, Spencer and Romi!!!!

      glen p robbins

      Mar 25, 2010 at 6:25pm

      I have had the pleasure of meeting Spencer Herbert on a couple of occasions. He is a fine intelligent young man and a very capable politician.

      I hope both he and Romi will be very happy.

      Old Timer

      Mar 25, 2010 at 8:02pm

      I am a hetero male who is comfortable with Gay marriage, so I wish the happy couple all the best. Any couple who lasts 10 years deserves to celebrate with family and friends! One Love means all love.Freedom to love is essential!

      Matthew Burrows

      Mar 25, 2010 at 8:27pm

      Lizzy Faire:

      Merci beaucoup!


      Mar 25, 2010 at 10:46pm

      How can two gay men hybridize? A sterile union for sure.

      Tracy Ho

      Mar 26, 2010 at 12:06pm

      Congratulations on such a wonderful and happy occasion!

      Good luck and I hope that you won't face too many difficulties adopting in BC, you 2 would make wonderful daddies!


      9 11Rating: -2

      Judi Yeadon Leger

      Mar 26, 2010 at 2:11pm

      Congratulations, and here's to a wonderful future and growing family.

      Vickky Angstrom

      Mar 26, 2010 at 4:03pm

      All you need is love...

      16 7Rating: +9

      Doug Herbert

      Mar 26, 2010 at 4:51pm

      Nice article, way to go boys!