Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another Gay Marriage Anniversary

GuyDads - Two gay fathersThree years ago on Father’s Day, June 19, we were married in a Jewish religious wedding ceremony at our large suburban synagogue by our head rabbi. We became California Domestic Partners four years ago. Now we have to discuss, consider and plan a California civil wedding.

The Reform movement, the largest Jewish movement in the US with 1.7 million members, has been welcoming to GLBT people as members and clergy for several decades. Reform rabbis are allowed to officiate at same-sex unions "through appropriate Jewish ritual," since they passed a resolution in 2000.

Our family of six children, ages 6 to 22 at the time, was part of the service.
Our marriage ceremony was not a private affair. We had about 200 guests, gay and straight and Jews and non-Jews. In Judaism, it is important to affirm our commitment in the context of a history and a community – both of which give real meaning and direction to our lives. Our celebration and consecration of our love was a combination of many traditions which generations before us have used to assert their love before God, family, and friends. While we followed the footsteps of many Jewish couples before us, we also knew that ours was a less-trodden path as a same-sex couple. We wanted to commit publicly our bond and love in the company of our friends and family who supported us in so many ways. We also wanted to affirm the ground-breaking stand Reform Judaism has taken that same-sex unions are holy and valid. Finally, we wanted to proclaim that we all stand together in the belief that loving couples and families are of many sorts in America. Further, we defy any so-called morality group to define for us what they see as the ‘only’ way for marriage to occur. May the time be not too distant that all our states and federal governments understand and act to assure the fundamental right to marry for all Americans.
Under the Chuppah: a Gay Jewish wedding

We are tentatively thinking about doing a simple civil ceremony in the fall before the election. We think it is important to be counted in as one of the gay marriages done during this time. Neither one of us are particularly optimistic about the defeat this fall’s California ballot proposition which would amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Even though California has the reputation for being a socially liberal state, its population comprises of many groups that remain skeptical if not totally opposed to same-sex marriage. I am afraid that the “mob rule” or “vote of the people” will not be an enlightened choice for issues on social justice and civil rights for LGBT people.

UPDATE: We have set Sunday, October 19th as the date for our civil wedding. More details later.


Anonymous said...

So beautiful. Mazel Tov to you both on this blessing.

Esther said...

Let me second that: mazel tov on your anniversary! Hopefully by November, people in California will realize that the sky hasn't fallen, that life goes on just as it has before. The only difference is, their gay and lesbian friends, neighbors, family and colleagues feel protected and secure, like first-class citizens.

Jess said...

Belated Happy Anniversary!

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