Straight weddings are just as valid as gay weddings, in that they are a social rite of passage for committed adults who want to show their intentions to be with one person for the rest of their lives. But straight couples also get the extremely fortunate bonus of being able to register for (and be issued) a marriage license wherever their heart desires.
I don’t want straight couples feeling guilty about this favoritism in our government, but it’s pretty nice when they acknowledge that they’ve got it pretty damn good—and that all people, be they gay, straight, bisexual, queer, lesbian, transgender, deserve the right to legally marry.
This past weekend, Maria and I attended the beach wedding of our dear friends Blane and Chris, a straight couple. We were in Florida, a state that definitely isn’t gay friendly in its laws (no marriage equality, gays can’t adopt, etc.).
Though I don’t claim to speak for Blane and Chris’ views on politics in general, they are clear in their love for humanity, their gay and lesbian friends and equality.
Their wedding was held on a warm, sunny afternoon. With soft, powdery white sand under my toes, I sat with tears streaming down my cheeks watching the bride walk down the aisle in a strapless lace-overlay ivory gown with a bouquet of bright yellow daffodils. I got choked up again hearing her sweet father play Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” on a trumpet. But then it came time for the readings, and there was one in particular that touched me to my core.
You’re likely familiar with it. It’s the 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in that state. Blane and Chris had asked their friend Sean, a proud gay man, to read it in front of all their 125 guests, which consisted of a mostly straight audience, but with plenty of gay pride present.
“Marriage is a vital social institution. 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.
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.”
My heart was caught in my throat as I listened to Sean read. Maria and I held hands tightly, thinking about our own socially recognized but not legally recognized marriage.
I sincerely appreciate Blane and Chris being able to think outside of what they can do and think of what their own dear friends cannot—and should be able to—do.
One day soon, the majority of voters will recognize that two people of the same sex deserve to be able to legally marry each other.
But until then, we’ll keep loving each other, having our weddings, living out our marriages, legally marrying in the states that say yes to civil rights for every human being, appreciating our allies and carrying on the fight for marriage equality.
Congrats, Blane and Chris!