As a former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani figures he’s officiated some 200 weddings.
But the latest nuptials over which he’ll preside are significant. First because the couple getting married in an elegant ceremony at the Willard Hotel next weekend includes Scott Segal, Giuliani’s longtime friend, adviser and onetime colleague at his old law firm Bracewell & Giuliani (now just Bracewell).
And also because it will be the Republican pol’s first same-sex wedding: Segal, who heads the firm’s policy group, is marrying Washington-based interior designer Travis Hatch.
“My views have evolved on this issue, like so many other people’s,” says Giuliani, who for years supported civil unions for gays and lesbians. “For a long time, my religious background gave me a resistance to the idea of marriage rights, but as I looked at it, I came to realize that in so many cases the relationships were … stronger and better than heterosexual marriages.”
Segal says he was thrilled but not surprised when his friend agreed to do the honors. Now that they’ve gotten the former mayor, who has the legal authority to marry couples in New York, recognized as a D.C. officiant, Segal figured his friend is more than up to the task. “The vows are traditional — nothing too soupy and sappy,” he says.
It’s the first marriage for both Segal, 52, and Hatch 33, who met about five years ago at Nellie’s Sports Bar in Shaw. “It was one of those and-then-our-eyes-met situations,” Segal says.
Giuliani jumped at the chance to help the couple make it official, for both personal and symbolic reasons. He’s convinced Segal and Hatch are a perfect match. “Travis really grounds Scott — a good marriage is one where each person gets stronger and better because of their connection to one another, and that is certainly the case,” he says. And, more broadly, “I’m glad our society has come to this point.”