This post originally appeared on one of my favorite wedding planning websites Offbeat Bride on April 2nd.
As you can imagine, being part of a two-chick couple is not always simple on a cultural level. Holly and I are incredibly fortunate to live in a time when it’s fairly accepted and generally safe for us to be together openly. We also live in a state where’s it’s been legal for two ladies or two dudes to get married for almost four years now, yay, Washington!
AND, as of June 26 of this year, the Supreme court made this superfluous by declaring that banning marriage for those of us of the queer persuasion is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment!
While we have a great group of friends and family (and even acquaintances or relative strangers!) that love us and are extremely excited for us, there are plenty of people who still struggle with accepting that us being together is both normal and good. Perhaps you’re one of them. You might also be unsure if you’re going to be comfortable coming to the wedding.
While you struggle with your answer to the RSVP, allow me to share a few thoughts to consider.
**Note: I’m not of the mindset that every marriage must be “blessed” by God. The existence of civil marriage and the separation of Church and state creates a healthy space where free people can enter into marriage on whatever premises they both choose. I consider this an important component of a free society. But, the following assumes a religious or quasi religious perspective on marriage.**
When you attend a wedding you are doing two things: witnessing the marriage vows and celebrating the love and commitment of the couple. The question to ask is: is my acting as a witness to these vows and celebrating the love of these two people dishonoring to God?
It’s a question many people I care deeply about are struggling with. This is actually a good thing, in fact, I think we should probably struggle with it a bit more.
The marriage sacrament, as it exists today, is not what it was 1,000 or even 100 years ago. We tend to romanticize the history of marriage with fairy tales about true love but generally speaking, the motivation for marriage more frequently had to do with convenience, safety, money, property or power. Often, it was a kind of slavery. These practices still exist. We see remnants of the colorful legacy of marriage at every socioeconomic level: the gold digger, the shotgun wedding, the offspring factory, the partnership or “merger,” etc. These marriages may meet some need in one or both partners, but they certainly don’t require love or even fidelity.
Returning to the original question: is celebrating these unions honoring the sacrament or “spirit” of marriage? Is this the relationship God had in mind when he put his first two kids together in the Garden?
Here’s the kicker, is the quality of the relationship more or less important than the quantity of men or women in it? If you believe it’s less, I’ll be the last person to ask you to compromise your beliefs or to share in our special day. Peace and love be with you. But, honestly, after seeing my share of abuse, infidelity and broken marriages, I think we shouldn’t just assume God is on board at every boy-girl wedding we attend.
But, even if you cannot fully celebrate the quantity of ladies in our marriage, but maybe you can be part of a celebration of love and commitment between two fellow humans.
Because, against all odds, by design, tradition or accident, people still like to couple up. And, when the coupling is characterized by love, willingness, mutual respect, honesty, faithfulness and joy, I think that’s a win for humanity all around.