PHOTOS: After the Supreme Court struck down Proposition 8, Michael Torsiello and Adrian Pellereau returned to the Andaz West Hollywood where they had married in a commitment ceremony the year before — this time to have their union recognized in the eyes of the law.
“Ten years ago when we met, we never dreamed that we’d be recognized as equals by the federal government,” Adrian told us. Michael, a tunnel engineer originally from North Brunswick, NJ and Adrian, a talent agent hailing from Zurich, Switzerland, met at Tufts University and settled in Los Angeles.
Michael, as a Hyatt Gold Passport member, was put up at a Hyatt hotel whenever he traveled out of town to work on a project, eventually earning Diamond status. When it was time to get married, they chose the Andaz WeHo, and racked up a ton of Gold Passport points. The commitment ceremony — a large, fancy affair held in the Panorama rooftop ballroom — took place on August 4, 2012. Combined with the other points they already had, their honeymoon was pretty much covered — they traveled all over Asia, staying at Park Hyatts on points, occasionally being upgraded to presidential suites because they were newlyweds and because Michael was a Diamond member.
“Andaz Weho has surpassed our expectations with their support and generosity towards us and the entire LGBT community,” Michael said. “Additionally, all of the Hyatt properties we visited during our honeymoon went out of their way to feel welcome.”
Once the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings came down, allowing gay marriage in California, Michael and Adrian reached out to the Andaz to discuss coming back for their second, fully legal nuptials. The hotel, wanting to extend their support for marriage equality, saw this as an opportunity to make a real impact on a couple that only wanted the law to recognize the love they saw in each other.
“Our family and friends always knew we’d be together forever, but it was important for us to have the same protections, freedoms, and rights as straight married couples,” they said.
The guys were prepared to pull out their wallets again, but Andaz Marketing Communications Director Agustin Cruz had been working closely with Moet & Chandon and their Marketing Director Julia Fitzroy on summer offerings at the hotel’s pool. Knowing that supporting the LGBT community is very important to Moet — and with Michael and Adrian fresh on his mind — Agustin mentioned their story to Jules. She came back and said Moet & Chandon wanted to help pick up the tab for the guys, and they provided the champagne for their dinner party celebrating their civil ceremony.
Andaz and Moet & Chandon split the cost and an extremely surprised and grateful Michael and Adrian were married for the second time on July 24 in in a Beverly Hills, California courthouse and celebrated afterwards in the Mezzanine Lounge at Andaz West Hollywood.
Marriage equality is a very important topic to the Andaz, not only because Agustin and many of his colleagues are members of the LGBT community, but General Manager Lin Schatz just married his partner of over 20 years. By becoming one of the many, many faces of marriage equality, Michael and Adrian have also become the unofficial poster children of the Andaz West Hollywood.
“We could have gotten married in several other states before it was legal in California, but it was important for us to be married in our home state and that it be recognized by the entire country,” the happy couple said. “With the falling of DOMA and Prop 8, we were given this amazing opportunity.”