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“The Wedding Season . . . for Some”

May 21, 2012 — Categories: ,

So it is the season of marriage and my partner and I delighted in attending our niece’s wedding in Baltimore last weekend. It was a three day party bringing together family and friends in celebration of their love for each other, their hope for the future, and their commitment to journey together, come what may.

So it is the season of marriage and my partner and I delighted in attending our niece’s wedding in Baltimore last weekend. It was a three day party bringing together family and friends in celebration of their love for each other, their hope for the future, and their commitment to journey together, come what may.

A wedding like this has special meaning for me.  Given that I spend most of my time trying to support healthy intimate relationships and worrying about those that are not healthy, to watch my niece, Hannah, and her partner, Jason, carefully and intentionally begin to build a relationship of trust, respect and equality has been very rewarding.  I reminded them in my toast to them that they are doing this differently, in spite of the many messages the culture tosses at them every day.  They support each other’s vocations, they have built a strong community, they value simplicity and they enjoy life each day.  So, yes, there is hope for intimate relationships - - - if partners can keep their eyes open, avoid sentimentality, expect the best from each other, be patient with each other, and be willing to swim against the tide.

But for me, this wedding was bittersweet as well.  Because lesbian and gay people are denied the right of marriage in most states.  Even as my partner and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary last week, it is doubtful that we will ever be legally married.  We are loved and supported by our church, our family and friends but in the eyes of the state, we are not worthy.  The President and Vice-President have come to understand. A number of states have removed this barrier to couples and families.  But my home state of North Carolina just unequivocally wrote into its constitution that marriage is a right reserved for some, not for all people.

One of my niece’s friends, a man in his 50’s, came up to us at the reception.  With a mischievous smile, he said, “I just want you to know that your relationship has in no way damaged my marriage of 25 years!!”  He went on to talk about his work for marriage equality and wished us well.

He’s right, of course.  The assertion that same-sex marriage will destroy everyone else’s marriages I suppose says a lot about the fragility of some people’s marriages, but it has nothing to do with lesbians and gays.

As I danced with my niece at the wedding, I was also reminded that this generation of young people gets that what matters is how you love not whom you love. 

The way things are is not the way they have to be. . . .
Someday sexuality will be celebrated and shared as God’s gift by all people.
Someday equality will be an erotic experience and violence will be abhorred.
Someday people will choose one another freely and rejoice in their choosing.
That day is within our reach.
We need not wait for another life, another incarnation, another generation.
In the dailiness of our lives, with those we love, we can do this differently.

                                                From Love Does No Harm, 1995

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute
www.faithtrustinstitute.org

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Wedding

Posted by Christie Stephens at May 22, 2012 01:19 PM
Dear Marie,
Thank you for this article! Congratulations to you and your partner on your 32nd anniversary! Alleluia! Stan and I would be honored to attend your wedding!
May love and justice prevail,
Christie Stephens
Married 47 years to my life partner Stan

Congratulations

Posted by Rev. Al Miles at May 22, 2012 01:19 PM
Dr. Fortune,

Congratulations to you and Dr. Ganley on your 32nd anniversary!! It grieves me that I'm not able to say on your 32nd "wedding" anniversary because of the marginalization of gays and lesbians by leaders in some states in our country. The notion that your marriage will somehow have a negative impact, say, on the 39-year-marriage shared by my wife, Kathy, and me--or any other hetereosexual union--is ludicrous. Continue to proclaim your love for each other from the deepest valleys and the highest mountains and, hopefully, one day the wayward keepers of the marriage key will remove the chains they've placed on our lesbian and gay Sisters and Brothers!!

Sincerely,
Rev. Al Miles
A staunch believer in marriage for everyone wishing to be married

"The Wedding Season..."

Posted by Chris Glaser at May 22, 2012 06:04 PM
Great post, Marie. So personal, so affirming, so honest. Well said!

Wedding Season

Posted by Larry at May 22, 2012 06:04 PM
Very nice little sister!!
Proud of you!!
You ought to be on Facebook?