Holding the Chuppah
You can't see me in this picture, but I was there, one of the four friends holding up the Chuppah. It was June 18, 2000. The wedding was a fine gathering of friends on a June day, and fulfilled many of the hopes one might have for a wedding celebration. The gaping exception, of course, was that my friends' union did not benefit from the usual privileges and protections offered by the law.
Eight years later, June 18, 2008 I had the honor of performing the legal wedding ceremony for these same friends, two amazing women who by that date had made multiple moves together (at least one cross country!) and had started on the journey of parenting their two sons.
One way we described that second ceremony was as, "a celebration of the sweet and stunning normalcy of their lives...a celebration of the...tender chaos of raising two sons, and the growing thirst for more time with each other as they juggle the demands of parenting and work." It was a day that we celebrated the fact that the defining features of their day-to-day had less to do with being a same sex couple, and more to do with parenting.
As we head toward this Spring's Supreme Court hearing, I feel deeply indebted to Kirsti and Mychal and to same sex couples everywhere who, like it or not, are doing important cultural work to evolve our shared scope of love and family. Their heavy lifting is ushering in a new normal for marriage that emphasizes the potency of a lifetime partnership between equals, and affirms a true, just and humane perspective on our highest and most difficult human calling--to love one another.
Couple by couple, marriage by marriage, this evolution is improving on a tradition of lifetime partnership, that despite crummy odds, continues to call on the human psyche. I support same sex marriage, because it is just, I am indebted to same sex couples because their cultural work enhances the meaning of marriage in a way that broadens the foundation of my own marriage--enabling me to belong to something that feels bigger and more true to me.
This is why I am supporting Kirsti and Mychal in fundraising for Lambda Legal, and it is also why, this spring I will self publish a short book called How To Write Your Own Wedding or Commitment Ceremony. I hope both efforts will benefit couples who seek to define this adventure called marriage for themselves.