Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Q & A : Showing Support for Marriage Equality

Question: I am getting married soon and would like to know how to show support for gay couples who are unable to get married in Illinois. Any ideas?

I have learned that several of my fellow celebrants have had the same question come up. What some couples have chosen to do is shown their support for gay marriage by quoting from "Goodridge Vs. Department of Health" by Massachusetts Supreme Court Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall.

The following excerpt is a powerful statement about marraige that would work well as a reading for a wedding ceremony.

"Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return, it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations....Without question, civil marriage enhances the "welfare of the community." It is a "social institution of the highest importance." ... Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. 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."

I would strongly recommend reading the post Honoring Marriage Equality in Your Wedding Ceremony for great suggestions.