Thursday, June 19, 2008

Same Sex Marriages

California brought the issue of same sex marriages to the forefront again this week. I feel a strong need to voice my opinion even thought it is late in week news wise.

Sarah and I took advantage of a legal technicality early in her transition and were legally married. We loved one another and were and are in a committed, monogamous relationship. We were also fearful that in case something happened to one of us (an illness or accident) people who did not honor the commitment we had made may try to interfere with our health care and other decisions. Of course, being married also gives us other legal protections and advantages.

We were married in November 2006. However, we would have married a year earlier if we could have worked out all the details. By details, I do not mean dresses, flowers, cake and decorations. I mean finding someone who would agree to marry us presenting as two women. We talked with our priest and her response was a quick no. No offer of counseling or anything else. Since Sarah had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was facing a mastectomy at the time, rather, than put our energy toward trying to work out a very simple (us and the officiant) wedding we put our energy into getting her well.

A year later, we decided to try again. We talked with a number people and finally found an MCC minister in a neighboring state who agreed to perform the ceremony for us. He was absolutely WONDERFUL. He talked with us at length. Counseling was accomplished and we agreed on a date for our marriage. We checked to see if we could use our church but our priest gave us a terse no on the use of the church. However, she did ask if we would change the time of our wedding so she could attend our wedding!! We did not change the time.

We had a very simple backyard wedding with about 25 of our closest friends and family. It was beautiful and we were surrounded by a group of people who loved us and continue to be a great support to us. We are living happily ever after.

Obviously, I believe that ss couples should be able to marry. The picture of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, a couple in their 80's who who were wed in California this week says it all. Two people who are deeply in love and have shared a life together for more than 50 years. They have been married all along!! They have just been denied the legal protection of marriage and the sacrament of marriage. There are many other ss couples who are living the kind of marriage that Del and Phyllis have lived. Fortunately, for those in California, they now have the legal possibility of marriage and many are taking advantage of it. I can only say to them CONGRATULATIONS!!

People will argue about how this affects heterosexual marriages, whether the church should offer the sacrament of marriage to ss couples but the fact remains that the dominoes in the issue of ss marriage are beginning to fall and it is time that this injustice of denying ss couples the protections and sacrament of marriage ends.

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