A couple weeks ago I sent a heartfelt e-mail to our wedding officiant, Noah. There was something weighing heavy on my heart in regards to our wedding ceremony and I really needed some Pastoral counsel. I posed my question to him like this,
"...Marriage equality is something that is important to both Chuck and I and we don't for a second want to take for granted the fact that we're allowed to commit ourselves to each other when there are so many loving, Godly couples who are denied that same right. I was wondering if there was a way we might incorporate this into our vows, or perhaps our prayer? I know this can be a touchy subject, but it hurts me to know that I have this amazing, beautiful opportunity to become one with the love of my life when so many others don't. I'd really like to know your thoughts on this."
Noah responded with his typical grace and eloquence. I won't try to reiterate his words because, honestly, Noah's level of intelligence is so far beyond my comprehension sometimes that I would absolutely do him no justice. But after supplying me with a detailed justification regarding his position on same-sex marriage, he shared with me that he would not feel comfortable bringing such a heated and controversial topic up during our wedding ceremony and offered to find us a new officiant who may be willing.
There was no way we would even entertain the idea of having anyone but Noah perform our ceremony, although we absolutely appreciated his encouragement and his respect of our opinions.
It was never my intention to stir up a political debate regarding marriage equality. I don't think our wedding is an appropriate venue for something like that. However, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to dismiss the fact that it's not fair.
It's not fair that I can marry Chuck and some of my best friends cannot marry the loves of their lives. I am filled with a sense of guilt and feel as though I am betraying the same friends who have loved, supported and blessed Chuck and my relationship from its very inception. How can I look into the eyes of members of our bridal party, friends seated in the audience and family wishing us well from afar knowing that I have a priviledge that they do not?
To me, this isn't a matter of whether sexuality is right/wrong, moral/immoral, natural/unnatural. It is simply a matter of human rights. We are treating members of the LGBT community as second class citizens. As lesser than heterosexual couples; all the while declaring it in the name of the sanctity of marriage.
Homosexuality is not a threat to the sanctity of marriage. You know what is?
Let it be known that as the daughter of someone who has been divorced more than once, I firmly believe there are instances when divorce is a necessity. But divorce has become a get-out-of-jail-free card. Because there exists a way in which to cast aside your marriage vows, people do not take seriously the commitment of marriage.
This is ruining the sanctity of marriage.
Not the faithful lesbian couple who have stood by each other's side for 20 plus years but aren't given the same rights as Kim Kardashian and her horrendous "marriage."
I realize that not everyone who follows this blog will agree with my position. And I hope that those who fall into this category will not see this as an invitation to throw Bible verses at me regarding the "sin" of homosexuality. My reason for writing this is simply because, I cannot, in good conscience, stand beside my future husband at the altar in two weeks and pretend like I have any more of a right to marry him than my best friends have to marry their significant others.
So while this will not be a topic of discussion within our marriage vows, it will be my heartfelt prayer as we enter into our life-long commitment to one another in front of our friends and family.
The Jesus I follow said nothing concerning same-sex marriage during His time on earth. What he did preach, was a gospel of love. And as I strive to be more Christ-like every day, I will not condemn my LGBT brothers and sisters.
I will show them the same love and compassion that Jesus would.