Monday, August 27, 2012

A is for Acknowledgement

We thought long and hard about how we wanted to acknowledge the struggle for equal rights that we and many others are dealing with in our country at our wedding. We didn't want to be overly political because the ceremony was about our love and commitment to one another. However, it felt uncomfortable not to acknowledge it in some way.

I discovered while searching on the internet that many gay and straight couples alike are using a reading from the November 18, 2003 ruling in Goodridge versus the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, majority opinion written by Chief Justice Margaret Marshall regarding what marriage means. One might immediately think that a court reading is too political for a wedding, but read on and let me know what you think.

Family and friends, we welcome you today to witness the marriage of Allyson and Anne. You each have shared and contributed to their lives in important ways up until this, and by witnessing their marriage ceremony today. Allyson and Anne ask you to continue this journey with them and share together in their future. 

According to Margaret Marshall of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in the 2003 ruling to legalize same-sex marriage in that state, "Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support. 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, the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition. It is undoubtedly for these reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a 'civil right'. Without the right to marry, one is excluded from the full range of human experience." 

Anne and Allyson found in one another the person with whom they want to forever share the values of companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. They believe, like Margaret Marshall, that by getting married they are committing to a lifetime of love and support for one another, and declaring to all of their loved ones this faith in their connection.

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