Since August, I’ve been vicariously enjoying, via e-mail and FaceBook, the burgeoning same- sex marriages around the Twin Cities. Saturday, October 12, I was honored to attend the nuptials of two dear friends.
They’ve been together over twenty years, through good times and the difficult, and are moms of twins just on the cusp of ‘tween. The kids were in from the engagement—designing and illustrating the invitations, choosing the flavor and frosting on the cake, standing up as ring bearer and bridesmaid at the ceremony.
It was a home event, with some forty friends, families and children in attendance. After signing the necessary documents, the rabbi invited the guests to draw near. Using a doorway arch as a canopy, he delivered a short, heartfelt service, and after the traditional smashing of the wine glass underfoot, pronounced the couple legally married in the state of Minnesota. He added that after more than twenty years together, creating home and family, the ceremony simply reinforced a union that already existed.
Watching, eyes moist, it was difficult for me to realize that not everyone will acknowledge the love my friends shared that evening. But they are legion.
Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, addressing the biannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stated that while states and nations may legalize same-sex marriage, human laws “cannot make moral what God has declared immoral.”
Oaks, a former Utah Supreme Court justice, allowed that “the faith’s stance against same-sex marriage might be misunderstood or prompt accusations of bigotry,” yet he nevertheless proclaimed, “And unlike other organizations that can change their policies and even their doctrines, our policies are determined by the truths God has declared to be unchangeable.” Not to single out the LDS church—it is not unique. Despite the evidence that we are but talking dots on a tiny blue marble whirling in the cosmos, many faiths insist that they alone know the mind of the Infinite.
Meanwhile, my friends’ kids and the other youngsters that danced together into the evening are entering a different world. A world where love abounds, where “unchangeable” is not used to stifle lives. Intuitively, they are busy learning to live by Ghandi’s words: “Where there is love there is life.”