The pair was joined in a wedding ceremony June 9 at First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia.
Junod, 57, is a Philadelphia native who works as an assistant managing director for the city, while Bobon, 35, hails from Cochranville and moved to Philadelphia more than 15 years ago. He currently serves as the technology coordinator at the Hub Meeting & Event Centers.
They met about two-and-a-half years ago at Knock.
“For me it really was like love at first sight,” Bobon said. “I walked into the bar and saw him and just immediately went over and started talking to him.”
Junod agreed that the attraction was immediate.
“For some reason we just hit it off right away,” he said.
They registered as life partners June 9, 2011, ensuring that the license was granted on that date, as they had already set the date for the wedding and wanted to keep the same anniversary for both occasions.
Although Pennsylvania doesn’t recognize marriage equality, Bobon said it was important to the couple to affirm their commitment before their loved ones.
“More than anything we wanted to celebrate our love in front of our friends, family and God,” he said.
The couple said that both of their families have been supportive and welcoming of the relationship, which was particularly meaningful for Junod, as he was previously married to a woman and has three children and four grandchildren — all of whom participated in the wedding.
The service, officiated by the Rev. Nate Walker, included a flower-communion ceremony in which all guests placed a rose in a bowl and Junod and Bobon added their flowers at the end, symbolizing the importance of the support and commitment of their loved ones to their relationship.
After the event, the 130 guests gathered for a reception at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, which was decked out in red and white in honor of their love of the Philadelphia Phillies. The table cards were based on Phillies’ jersey numbers and, as part of their gift, each member of the wedding party received a ticket to the upcoming Gay Community Night at the Phillies.
One of the most memorable moments from the reception, Junod said, was when a relative told him that the event had heightened his understanding of same-sex relationships.
“He said it was an eye-opener for him,” Junod said. “He said we seem so natural together and that things seem just the way they should be. That was really great to hear.”
Bobon said he hopes other same-sex couples recognize the value of a public pronouncement of their relationship.
“We want to encourage other gay couples to celebrate their love with a ceremony,” he said. “Even though it may not be 100-percent legal yet in Pennsylvania, we shouldn’t be afraid to celebrate what we have with our friends and family. We need to show the rest of the world that we’re not any different from anyone else.”
Junod noted that, if and when Pennsylvania legalizes same-sex marriage, he and Bobon will take the plunge legally — although that occasion may not include as lengthy of a guest list.
The pair will celebrate their wedding with a Key West vacation planned for September.
Jen Colletta can be reached at email@example.com.