Protesters Show Up Outside Bride's Wedding to Criticize Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

"Just let her get married. Please," the bride's mom said. "[Sinema] is not my daughter"

Krysten Sinema protests
Sinema protesters. Photo: youtube

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has been followed by activists at the airport and even into the bathroom — and now to a friend's wedding, where a group of protesters angered by her political stances recently disrupted a ceremony she officiated, even as the bride pleaded with them to stop.

The Oct. 23 wedding initially made headlines after it was reported that a few guests at the ceremony were dressed in Native American costumes, complete with headdresses and face paint, though an aide to the 45-year-old Sinema said in a statement that she denounced such behavior and didn't interact with those attendees.

"Senator Sinema officiated a personal friend's wedding at which a small group of activists protested during the private ceremony," spokeswoman Hannah Hurley said in an email to the Arizona Daily Star. "While the Senator knows the bride and groom, she does not know and did not interact with the wedding guests who wore disrespectful and racist costumes to the ceremony, and she strongly condemns such behavior."

According to the Daily Star, costumes were welcome at the wedding and one attendee dressed as a unicorn.

One of the approximately 20 protesters outside the event told the paper she was "shocked and appalled and disgusted" by the choice to wear Native American clothing.

In footage taken outside the ceremony, the protesters can be seen gathering at the wedding venue in Bisbee, Arizona, chanting "shame!" and carrying signs accusing Sinema of being a "corporate shill" and saying "Sinema betrays Democrats."

Sinema, who has been in office since 2019, is a key vote for the Democrats in the Senate, where they hold a razor-thin majority. But her political differences with the party have also made her the focus of criticism from liberals over her opposition to parts of the Biden-backed spending legislation and other priorities, like adding a minimum wage increase in a pandemic-relief bill.

That anger is what has been driving activists to pursue Sinema away from Capitol Hill, drawing backlash of their own. (After some of them followed Sinema into the bathroom at the Arizona university where she is a lecturer, she said it was "wholly inappropriate.")

Video from the wedding protest shows the anti-Sinema crowd was not welcomed.

At one point in the video, the apparent bride walks past the protesters and says, "Thanks for ruining my wedding, I really appreciate it ... I really wish I could enjoy my wedding without you ruining it."

The crowd outside the venue was quiet during the ceremony, but only after the bride's mother tearfully asked with them to stop, saying, "just go down to the corner for an hour — it's my daughter's wedding," the video shows.

"Just let her get married. Please," the woman says, gesturing to one of the signs about Sinema. "[Sinema] is not my daughter," to which one of the protesters pulls down her face mask to yell at the mother: "Tell her that we don't like what she's doing to our country. Tell her!"

While one of the wedding protesters told the Daily Star she was criticizing Sinema for not voting to pass measures to address climate change, a spokeswoman for the senator said she was "excited for the opportunity in the legislation to pass" such policies.

It was unclear which group or groups organized the wedding protest; efforts to reach members for comment was unsuccessful.

Krysten Sinema protests
Sinema protesters outside the Arizona wedding venue. youtube

A spokesperson for Sinema did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment regarding the protest.

This is the third time in recent weeks that critics have pursued Sinema in opposition to her politics.

Earlier this month, she was confronted by a protestor while walking through the airport. In footage of that exchange, Sinema can be seen chatting with Republican Sen. Tim Scott as they walk through the airport, telling him, "Sorry about this" after a woman approaches and begins asking about climate change.

That incident came on the heels of another confrontation earlier this month at Arizona State University, were Sinema is a lecturer.

After being followed through a building by activists with the group LUCHA Arizona urging her to sign a pending infrastructure spending bill on Oct. 3, Sinema told the group she was "heading out."

She then entered a restroom — and was followed by some of the protesters, who filmed her entering a bathroom stall as they stood directly outside it.

In a statement released after the restroom incident, Sinema said that she was concerned about was the safety, security, and privacy of her students.

"In the 19 years I have been teaching at ASU, I have been committed to creating a safe and intellectually challenging environment for my students. Yesterday, that environment was breached," Sinema said in the statement. "My students were unfairly and unlawfully victimized. This is wholly inappropriate."

Sinema added in that statement that the activists who followed her to the restroom represented a group "that both my team and I have met with several times since I was elected to the Senate, and I will continue engaging with Arizonans with diverse viewpoints to help inform my work for Arizona."

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