2004-05-28 / Community

Far Rock Native Marries Life Partner

By Brendan Brosh

Far Rock Native Marries Life Partner

By Brendan Brosh

A former Far Rockaway woman has married her life partner under a new Massachusetts law that permits same-sex marriages. Robyn Ochs, an adjunct professor at Tufts University and administrator at Harvard University, married her partner Peg Preble at Brookline Town Hall on Monday,
May 17.

"The ceremony was meaningful beyond our expectations," said Ochs. "It was a magical and intimate moment - more intense and emotional than we anticipated."

Waking up at 4:30 in the morning, Ochs and Preble joined four other couples from their neighborhood to wait on line at the Brookline Town Hall.

Partners for the last seven years, Ochs and Preble were married at 9:55 a.m. on Monday, the first same-sex couple married in Brookline history and thought to be the second in all of Massachusetts.

"We were joined by eight friends and more than twenty members of the local and national media," said Ochs, whose story has already graced the pages of the Washington Post, Boston Globe and Harvard Crimson.

A consummate advocate for gay rights – and adjunct professor teaching courses on the politics of Gender and Sexual Orientation – Ochs was never tempted to have a civil union in neighboring Vermont. "The problem with civil unions is that when you cross state lines, you have no rights whatsoever," said Ochs.

The Massachusetts law, however, is in jeopardy as a current constitutional crisis within the commonwealth may lead to a rescinding of the same-sex marriage legislature.

Ochs herself grew up on Empire Avenue, near Beach 9 Street and lived in Rockaway until she left for college in the late 1970’s. Attending P.S 197 and Far Rockaway High School, she went on to receive a Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Purchase and two graduate degrees from Harvard University. Along with being a professor and administrator, Ochs travels the world giving workshops and lectures on the politics of sexual orientation. Her speaking engagements have taken her as far as Dublin, Paris and Sydney, Australia.

Living in the Boston area since 1982, her family has been supportive of her orientation and recent marriage.

Ochs refers to her mother, Sonny, a retired M.S. 198 teacher as a "pit bull for gay rights."

"I am very happy for my daughter," says Sonny Ochs. "Peg is a really wonderful person and she is a welcomed addition to the family."

As for a wedding reception, Ochs and Preble are planning a belated party over the Labor Day weekend in the Boston area.

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