This is a post I have written several times in my head but haven’t had the guts to post, or perhaps didn’t feel like it was important enough. But in light of last week’s history making declaration, the first time a sitting president has come out in support of same-sex marriage, well, if he can be brave, then maybe I can, too.
After I met Mr. BFT, we quickly reached a point where we spent most of our free time together. Then shortly after that I made the decision to go to college and get my degree. And then shortly after that, I found myself with very little spare time. I had to quit the chorus, I stopped volunteering, and in general stopped being the advocate for equality that I once was.
And then, we got engaged. And among the feelings of excitement and trepidation and butterflies in my stomach, I felt guilt. Guilt because I was able to get straight married without giving it a second thought. And so many people I know, and are friends with, can’t get married. (And no, civil unions aren’t the same thing. Separate but equal, much?)
To offset my feelings of guilt, I wanted to include something in the ceremony to show my support for gay marriage. My first thought was to have our officiant say a little something about Prop 8, the California ballot measure that banned gay marriage in 2008. At the time we became engaged, Prop 8 had just been deemed unconstitutional and was moving to the appeals court, so it was a hopeful time. But, upon giving this more thought, I felt that our ceremony may not be the appropriate soapbox for all my feelings about Prop 8.
My next idea was the White Knot campaign. The white knot has become the universal symbol in support of gay marriage. The idea was to have a basket of white knots attached to pins available on our welcome table that people could take if they wanted to.
|White Knots at a wedding, from the White Knot Facebook page|
I felt a little disparaged and didn’t think about the subject for a few months. But the guilt and the overwhelming need to do something never went away. As I was writing the ceremony, I searched around the internet for something less “political” we could include. Ironically I came across a popular passage from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruling in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health which was the first state in the U.S. to allow same-sex marriages in 2004 (it doesn’t get much more political than that). But I found that a passage from the majority opinion ruling in this case has become a popular reading during wedding ceremonies of late, not only for gay couples but straight couples as well. I attempted to weave this passage into our ceremony but try as I might, it stood out like a sore thumb alongside the lovey-dovey mushiness that comprised the rest of our ceremony. Mr. BFT didn’t like the sound of it, either. So, it was cut. Sad trombone.
A couple weeks later, I was putting our ceremony programs together and had a chunk of empty space I was trying to fill. And then, it hit me. Mr. BFT approved.
Now and then I still feel the guilt of getting straight married, but at least I am at peace with it and I’ve made my stance known. I will never stop fighting for marriage equality and basic rights for all people.