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Thursday, October 08, 2009

On Marriage Equality

Our lives are about those we love and those we call family. I read things like this, and it just brings me to tears. A quick golden rule test would tell you to let people see their loved ones when they're gravely ill.

These sorts of situations illustrate why marriage (in the eyes of our government) should be for everyone. It is a tidy little package of rights and responsibilities that most folks know how to handle. But I also fall into that group of folks who feels weird about considering getting married when other friends and loved ones are not allowed. This week, Dan Savage cleared the air on this one for me, saying, "Get married, make a donation to the fight for marriage equality, and encourage your guests to do the same." He said that at the ceremony he was at last week, it went like this:
I think you should consider lifting one of the readings from my friends' ceremony.

"Marriage is a vital social institution," the reading began. "The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition."

So touching, so true, and so universal—who could argue with those sentiments? Everyone at the wedding was nodding. And the reading continued...

"It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a 'civil right.' Without the right to choose to marry, one is excluded from the full range of human experience."

After the reading—which was done by a gay friend of the couple—the officiant identified the source: It was from the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in that state.


  • I read that column and thought of you officiating at Alex and Sherman's wedding.

    By Blogger Chrisfs, at 7:10 PM  

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