Allan and I walked into the church. We chatted with friends as we walked into the chapel. The minister took her place on the altar. Music began to play and all of the guests rose from their seats. The couple came in and stood in front of the minister. Their families and friends surrounded them in love as the minister welcomed the guests and began the ceremony. She spoke of the love and devotion the couple have for each other. The couple exchanged vows and rings. Everyone applauded and some shed tears of joy. We all enjoyed cake and punch and wished the couple a long and happy life together.
What is wrong with this picture? Did buildings fall down and did birds come dropping out of the sky? Did oceans flood the land and did volcanoes erupt? Did millions of happy marriages disintegrate? No!
Yesterday I was invited to my first commitment ceremony between two men. I was honored to be on the guest list - I am friends with one of the grooms. Not only was it a same-sex ceremony, but the grooms are interracial. Marriage between two men in Indiana is still illegal (hence the commitment ceremony), and interracial marriage was only legalized in Indiana in 1965. That's not very long ago. I am assuming that before 1965, many thought that disastrous things would happen if two people from different races could marry. Now the same is said of same-sex marriage. Not only will the sky fall if same-sex marriage is legalized, but it will supposedly destroy "marriage as we know it."
So I watched two families come together. In the middle of the ceremony, each groom gave their mom a rose. As the women stood to receive their flower, I could see love and pride on both of their faces. Again, nothing I could notice indicated a negative or disapproving note.
As the ceremony progressed, I felt tears of happiness welling up in my eyes. I couldn't imagine what about this event would cause anyone to think it was a bad thing. Two lives were merging as one. The couple was professing their love and devotion to each other in the eyes of G-d, and in front of their friends and families. They promised to take care of each other and make their home a haven - a refuge from a difficult and sometimes harsh world.
Opponents of homosexuality claim that gay people are promiscuous. They also claim that men who are married live longer. But, on the other hand, they deny gay people the very thing that would make their lives more stable and enduring. Why is this? Many spout biblical text, but I can't believe they're all that devout. That leads me to believe (and this is just my belief) that most of them are just homophobic, mean-spirited people who will do anything they can to make gay people's lives miserable. They want them to go away. To disappear. Here in Indiana an amendment to write discrimination into our state Constitution is on the drawing board. It says that only one man and one woman can get married. Why do this? If passed, I'm sure many GLBT people would leave the state.
I find it interesting how strident some of our legislators in Indiana are about same-sex marriage. I also find it interesting that more than a few "doth protest too much." Look at Phil Hinkle: He got caught soliciting sex from a teenage boy. He is one of the legislators pushing for HJR-6 to get passed. Why do these men care so much? In addition, so many of them cheat on their wives. How sacred can marriage really be to them?
So, let's get back to the commitment ceremony. I wish that the opponents of same-sex marriage could have seen the love on both of these men's faces and in their eyes. I wish they could have seen these men's elderly parents, siblings, children, and friends congratulate them and wish them well. I wish they could have heard both men vow to take care of each other as they grow into old age. What can be wrong with that?