Washington State voters approved same-sex marriage last November. I'd always been in favor of civil unions for gay couples, but I thought long and hard about my vote on Referendum 74. Something niggled at me. I finally realized my thinking had been influenced by old, church-based ideas about marriage. And I haven't been a churchgoer in a while now. I have been a spiritual person, though, and I believe we're all in this together.
I've known Beth and Sue for a couple of years. When we were invited to their wedding I was glad - and curious. I wondered what "my first gay wedding" would be like.
It was one of the nicest weddings I've ever attended. I cried all the way through it, as I always do at weddings. Beautiful music - piano, organ, flute, an a cappella choir. Lovely vows. Delighted grins on the faces of the newly married couple. Cake (gluten free, soy free, nut free!) and ice cream sundaes and punch at the reception. About 150 people from all areas of the couple's life.
When the minister introduced the new couple at the end of the ceremony with "by the power vested in me... and the People of the State of Washington", I saw what my vote, and all those other votes, had done. It had allowed Beth and Sue - these two loving people - to marry. And my heart was glad.
Here is the prayer we all said together during the ceremony. I love it.
A version of The Lord’s Prayer
from The New Zealand Prayer Book
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen.