Thursday, April 21, 2016

Celebrate Love

My sister got married this past weekend. This is significant because both of my siblings are gay and my sister is the first lesbian to marry in our family. It is also significant because her wife was one of the ones leading the fight for marriage equality, so she essentially made their wedding day possible.

It was a beautiful ceremony and reception. The brides are from Texas and Maryland respectively, so they decided to combine cultures around the theme of “boots and boat shoes.” Much of the d├ęcor was nautically related, but the band was a Texas inspired country band, complete with cowboy outfits. They were married on a lovely waterfront property way down in Southern Maryland, and the reception was held in a newly built barn. The reception was a little cramped for my tastes, as it was a bit difficult to get around, but not impossible.

The most poignant moment for me was when they had a reading of the Oberfell v Hodges, the case that transformed “gay marriage” into simply “marriage.” It was a beautifully written opinion and it truly pointed to the hard work and dedication my new sister-in-law had put forth into bringing this right around to her and my sister. It was more appropriate for their wedding than any bible reading ever could be, though they had a few of those as well.

My brother, as I said, is also gay and he actually brought a date to the wedding as well. While it’s a bit too early in their relationship to contemplate whether we’ll have another wedding in the near future (and honestly, after my own wedding and my sister’s, I’m a little “weddinged” out), it was still amazing to see my brother so proudly “out” to our family. For the longest time, it was something that was known, but not spoken about. My father was less than thrilled when Kevin first told us, though my father was much more open to my sister and her wife when they first came out to him. But my father sat comfortably at a table with not only my brother and his date, but also my uncle and his husband, someone he used to detest when I was growing up. I am so proud of how far my family has come in accepting my siblings for not only who they truly are, but also who they love.

To me, the fight for marriage equality has always been about love. We should not define who gets to officially declare their love for someone and who does not. I hope that the fight for equality will continue to other non-traditional relationships who want the right to marry the ones they love.

“The history of marriage is one of both continuity and change. Changes, such as the decline of arranged marriages and the abandonment of the law of coverture, have worked deep transformations in the structure of marriage, affecting aspects of marriage once viewed as essential. These new insights have strengthened, not weakened, the institution. Changed understandings of marriage are characteristic of a Nation where new dimensions of freedom become apparent to new generations.” Oberfell v Hodges135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015)

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