Last weekend the boyfriend-in-America/husband-in-Canada and I attended the wedding of some dear straight friends. And we weren't the only 'mos: There were "a number of people in attendance [without] access to the rights" our straight friends were signing up for. And all us homos were delighted to be there and deliriously happy for our friends, and not one of us would've asked them to wait to marry until gay marriage is legal in all 50 states. [Here's] what I think straight couples should do in the meantime, HTRC: Get married, make a donation to the fight for marriage equality, and encourage your guests to do the same.... And in addition to throwing some money around, HTRC, I think you should consider lifting one of the readings from my friends' ceremony.
"Marriage is a vital social institution," the reading began. "The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition."
So touching, so true, and so universal—who could argue with those sentiments? Everyone at the wedding was nodding. And the reading continued...
"It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a 'civil right.' Without the right to choose to marry, one is excluded from the full range of human experience."
After the reading—which was done by a gay friend of the couple—the officiant identified the source: It was from the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in that state. It was a lovely gesture: The gay couples at the wedding were touched and the hetero couples were reminded of the injustice that gay couples face. It would be wonderful if this passage from the Massachusetts court's ruling on marriage equality caught on as a wedding reading, HTRC.
Adrienne Baker walked down the aisle on her wedding day in August wearing high heels, a strapless ruffled dress and a slender white wristband. Her groom, Austin Vitt, augmented his dark suit with the same accessory. So did many of their 140 guests. Moments later, when the ceremony began, the divinity student who was officiating offered the first reading. It was a selection that the soon-to-be Mr. and Ms. Vitt considered the secular equivalent of Scripture, excerpts from a ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in the case of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health.
“Without the right to choose to marry,” the officiant, Julie Maxwell, intoned, “one is excluded from the full range of human experience.” In other words, as the court concluded in the 2003 decision, same-sex marriage is a legal and civil right. As for the delicate wrist ribbons, they were Ms. Vitt’s adaptation of the white-knot logo for the marriage-equality movement.