My friends Tom and Brian on their wedding day (photo by Photo Pink, used with permission)
This might be my favorite wedding photo in the history of the world. It conveys so much about who Tom and Brian are: their spirit, their joy, their generosity, their gorgeous, overflowing love for each other. It's all there, in one snap of the camera.
These days there's a lot of talk about gay marriage, or as I prefer to call it, marriage. But I get it: Some people have a hard time with change. Many people ask why "they need to get married." Although I think the answer is as simple as a question in return -- "Why does anyone need to get married?" -- I know it's not, because I know that when there's a "them" and an "us," my simplistic view doesn't tend to translate. So I'm here to help. I'll start by telling you what I think "their" marriage does:
- It affirms their commitment to each other -- to care for one another as partners in the life that they will continuously create and recreate together from here forward.
- It enters them into a contract, both legally and spiritually, to be responsible to and for one another as long as they both shall live.
- It declares, before their family, their friends and God, their intention to honor each other and the family whose foundation they have now become, and in so doing it conscripts us all into supporting roles.
- It reminds us that the basis of family, and the truth of success, is love.
- It allows them access to the same basic rights as a couple that heterosexual couples have enjoyed and continue to enjoy under the law: inheritance, visitation, health care, taxes, etc.
- It allows them to be financially responsible for one another without penalty -- no more or less than anyone else.
- It gives us all proof that love and truth and respect for our fellow human beings will win over fear every damned time.
- It shows our children that we live in a place where bigotry and discrimination will no longer be tolerated, at least under the law.
- It gives me hope that someday they won't be tolerated at all.
Here's what it doesn't do: degrade, debase, dilute, disparage or change my marriage, or yours, in any way, shape, or form. In truth, it has not a whit to do with my marriage or yours.
And here's the other thing it doesn't do: hurt our children. In fact, it can save them, because it tells them that if they fall in love with someone of the same gender, they are not damaged, broken, or any less worthy of life and love and family than anyone else. It shows them that forever-love is real and possible, and that when it happens for them, it can and will be celebrated too. This is a message that is long, long overdue, and it's one that might have saved countless young people had it come in time for them to hear it.
Yes, this is, without a doubt, my favorite wedding picture in the history of the world. Love you, guys.