The most touching wedding ceremony I’ve ever officiated was that of my first same-sex wedding in 2015. I rarely cry at ceremonies, and I struggled to get through this one. It was different. I had performed many commitment ceremonies, but this one, this same sex wedding was legal. There was an actual marriage license. The license contained the names of two women.
It was so moving, with not a dry eye in the house. Unless you have been denied your rights, you don’t know what it feels like to suddenly have them. I never want to hear that a marriage license is just a piece of paper. For those who have been denied the right to marry, it is everything.
Here this couple stood before me, two beautiful young women who had built a life together and wanted children. Many LGBTQ couples have had children together, but one parent was not the legal parent. Before marriage equality became the law of the land, they had to adopt their own child. This left them at risk.
Amy and Stephanie had been together for 5 years. Most heterosexual couples would have been married long before and started a family without a worry that their child could be taken away because a parent was not a legal parent. This was happening and it was scary. But for these two, the fears were now subsiding, as they faced the future as a legal couple with actual rights.
In the past, as a member of the LGBTQ community myself, I had started to doubt if I would ever see marriage equality in my lifetime. There was so much opposition. But I held the faith and then… on June 26, 2015, finally, it happened.
This day sure changed things for the gay community.
- Some couples ran to the courthouse to make it legal.
- Some couples fell apart, as “you know I’d marry you if I could” wouldn’t fly anymore.
- Some couples got married just because they could, not because they should.
- Divorces were happening.
- It took us a minute to find our footing.
Now almost 5 years later, it seems we are on an even keel with the rest of the world when it comes to marrying our beloved. I still get the occasional LGBTQ couple who has to marry in secret or face the rejection of their family. I often bring my mom with me to witness for a couple whose mother has refused to show up. I am very grateful that my mom understands that love is love.
The Root Commonality
I have performed hundreds of ceremonies, and one thing is common among all of them. Love IS love. The love is the foundation. The couples I have married have been from all walks of life, of different races, religions and genders, yet love is still love.
We continue to have a long way to go in winning the fight for equality but for now, every of-age member of the U.S. LGBTQ+ community can marry the person of his or her choice because even the supreme court can see that love is love.
The Officiant Directory only lists all-inclusive officiants who are LGBTQ+ allies that perform ceremonies for all legally qualified couples.