Tuesday, October 22, 2013

There is More Love Somewhere

On Monday New Jersey became the 14th state in the nation in which it is legal for same-gender couples to be treated identically with two-gender couples.  Even the Governor, Chris Christie, dropped his lawsuit and acknowledged that the court had spoken loud and clear.

I have to say . . . I have never understood what all the brouhaha has been about.  Over the years I've known a number of homosexual couples and a number of heterosexual couples.  And in those years I've seen some relationships work, and others not.  I've seen loving care and respect, and I've seen dishonesty and betrayal.  What differentiated the two was not the gender expression of the couple, but the quality of the relationship.

I am honored to have met and gotten to know two of the plaintiffs in the Massachusetts case that set the marriage equality dominoes falling.  They are members of the congregation I served there, and are two of the loveliest people I've ever known.  The love between them was palpable.

And recently two members of the congregation I now serve went to Washington to have their union legally recognized.  They've been together for forty-four years but it is only after their wedding ceremony that they feel they can say to the heterosexual world, "our relationship is as valid, as legitimate as yours." 

Can you imagine?  Doing the hard work of keeping a relationship alive and thriving for over four decades and, yet, being constantly told in ways both overt and subtle that your relationship isn't "real" and doesn't really "count"?  Can you imagine this?  Far too many citizens in our country don't have to -- they live it every day of their lives.

For years, now, people have said that a general acceptance of "gay marriage" will damage and possibly even destroy "traditional" marriage.  The same was said, of course, about interracial marriages until the famous Loving v. Virginia case in 1967.  It was obvious that only people of the same race should marry.  Anything else would be an affront and a danger.

And it's been said that the true purpose of marriage is procreation, the creating of a stable family unit for the perpetuation of our species and our civilization.  Well, them, older couples and infertile couples should only be allowed to have "civil unions" too, because they wouldn't be able to generate biological offspring either.

And it's been said that "the American people" are against same-gender marriages -- at least, under that name -- so that not only tradition but public opinion are against it.  But since 2004 -- a mere nine years -- we've gone from same-gender marriage being outside the realm of most heterosexual's conception to being legal in fourteen states!

If the institution of marriage was able to survive the 2000 on-air nuptials of Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger, highly publicized 55-hour marriage of Britney Spears and Jason Alexander, and the 11-year run of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise,  it will certainly survive it's expansion to include loving couples who just happen to share the same gender expression.

Pax tecum,


PS -- the title of this post comes from a really wonderful hymn we Unitarian Universalists sing quite a lot.  It is an African American hymn, sung to a tune named after South African activist and martyr Steven Biko.  It's words are:  "There is more love, somewhere. / There is more love, somewhere. / I'm going to keep on / 'till I find it. / There is more love, somewhere."  And so may we all. Print this post


arthurrashap said...

Well written, incisive, and reflective, I believe of the underlying sentiment of a good portion of those who are involved with TJMCUU. I do look forward to these musings and the musings it prompts me to be open to.
Arthur Rashap

RevWik said...

Thanks, Arthur.