California Attorney General Kamala Harris marries Douglas Emhoff.
By The American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: California’s popular Attorney General Kamala Devi Harris, who many think will one day run for governor, has got married just shy of her 50th birthday to attorney Douglas Emhoff, partner in charge of the law firm Venable LLP’s Los Angeles office, in Santa Barbara, last Friday, five months after they got engaged.
The wedding ceremony, performed in the Santa Barbara courthouse, was presided over by Maya Harris, sister of the bride, who herself is married to Tony West, the Associate Attorney General of the United States.
It is the first marriage for Harris, 49, the first woman, the first African American, and the first Asian American attorney general in California. Emhoff, 49, was previously divorced, and has two children, one in college and one in high school, reported The Sacramento Bee.
While she was an Alameda County Deputy District Attorney in the 1990s, Harris dated Willie Brown, the powerful Speaker of the California State Assembly. Wikipedia reports said there was speculation the two would marry, but Brown broke up with her shortly after being elected Mayor of San Francisco.
Harris, who was born in Oakland, California, is the daughter of an Indian mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan—a breast cancer specialist who emigrated from Chennai, to the United States in 1960, and a Jamaican American father, Stanford University economics professor Donald Harris.
The Harris sisters grew up in a household that combined Hindu and Baptist teachings, and were raised in Berkeley, Oakland, and Montreal, where their mother took a position doing research at the Jewish General Hospital and teaching at McGill University.
Kamala Harris attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., and received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1989. She was admitted to the California bar in 1990.
At the wedding, according to customs of the bride and bridegroom, she placed a flower garland around his neck, and he broke a glass at the end of the ceremony, reported the SFGate. The very private wedding, which was not publicized, had a cellist play in the courtroom, and the bride and groom wrote their own vows, with the help of Harris.
The ceremony also included the bride’s niece, Meena, reading from Maya Angelou’s poem “Touched by an Angel,” which ends, “Suddenly we see/ that love costs all we are/ and will ever be./ Yet it is only love/ which sets us free.” The bride and groom’s first dance, to music played by a DJ, was to Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like a Star,” the report said. The bride’s dress was golden, by an unidentified California designer. The duo are not going for a honeymoon.
The Santa Barbara Independent reported that the marriage came a day after Harris said she will take legal action to defend California’s much debated death penalty law.
Harris has proved vocal about her decision to appeal a ruling by federal judge Cormac J. Carney, who concluded last month that California’s death penalty has become so dysfunctional as to constitute cruel and unusual punishment and hence, unconstitutional.
Because the ultimate punishment is so rarely implemented in California, Carney argued, death row inmates are seven times more likely to die from old age or suicide than a lethal injection. This, he claimed, undermined any value it might have in terms of deterrence or retribution. Harris described Carney’s reasoning as “flawed,” adding his conclusions were “not supported by law.”