Governors have gotten a pretty bad rap in the last week. Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, set the bad very low for state governors with his arrest and accusations of trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat. With that kind of news, it wouldn’t exactly be hard for a governor to make more positive news than that. Florida Governor Charlie Crist managed to do that by getting married Friday.
Governor Crist made history by becoming the first sitting Florida governor in 42 years to get married. New York socialite Carole Rome served as the bride, as the two were married at St. Petersberg’s First United Methodist Church.
Carole Rome and Charlie Crist met in September 2007, during a dinner in New York. The two quickly got together, with Crist proposing to Rome in July 2008.
Both Rome and Crist are no strangers to marriage. Governor Crist has been away from marriage longer, as he was married to a college sweetheart in 1980 before getting divorced a year later. Rome’s last marriage is more recent, as she finalized her divorce to Blue Star Jets president Todd Rome earlier this year. She has two girls from the marriage, 10-year-old Skylar and 12-year-old Jessica.
Rome has lived in Miami’s Fisher Island since 2006, as she remains President of the Halloween costume company Franco American Novelty Co., though she has stopped running the daily business.
Crist becomes the first Florida governor to be married while in office since Governor Claude Kirk in 1967, who got married a month after taking office.
However, the ceremony for Crist and Rome did not go without some protest. Gay-marriage supporters demonstrated outside the church, in protest of Amendment 2, an anti gay-marriage amendment to the state constitution that was passed in the election.
The pro-gay marriage protest was joined by an anti-gay marriage protest, as well as an unrelated protest about a recent local police shooting.
While this was going on outside, Crist and Rome were married inside in a ceremony attended by 200 friends, relatives and celebrities. Guests included former Florida Governor Bob Martinez, Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg, Geraldo Rivera, and Florida Congressman Robert Wexler- who was one of the few Democrats in attendance.
The ceremony lasted 20 minutes before the couple left the church and walked back to Crist’s nearby condo.
Associated Press- Gov. Crist, you may now kiss the bride” www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gaYmhLXvg6qm2C75BxA5KRRCKfxgD951T0UO0
AFP- “Gay protest surrounds Florida governor’s wedding” www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hxgUsSPOFIkxCy1jFxCEt2BYShLw
Palm Beach Post- “‘Great night for Florida,’ Crist declares” www.palmbeachpost.com/localnews/content/state/epaper/2008/12/12/a1a_cristwedding_1213.html