This morning I was witness to a homophobic comment from an unexpected quarter. It set me on my heels. It took me back to the days of persecution I saw in the ’70s, when I was old enough to be aware of it. It is an ancient historical fact that men can be attracted to men, and women to women. I refer you to my post in which I mention Plato’s symposium, which describes the ideal sexual form to be androgynous – before humans spoilt everything with cockiness and egotism.
The fact that fear of the unfamiliar persists is unsettling, even though everyone is entitled to a point of view.
Many straight couples I see ask if they can compromise the Marriage Act during their ceremony by negating it in some way. Obviously that would also invalidate their intention to marry and my role as facilitator of their vows. I can reassure these couples that their gay friends are at their ceremony to celebrate their happiness and not to fret about the law. There are other times and places for that, and their gay friends have the grace to realize it.
I conducted a moving commitment ceremony the other day when the (gay) couple actually asked me to quote the definition of marriage, “between a man and a woman”, and proudly asked me to say this:
“While we acknowledge that a marriage between same-sex couples is not lawful, we support you and your right to openly and publicly declare your love and commitment to each other, voluntarily entered into for life. Before you are joined by this commitment in my presence and in the presence of your witnesses, I acknowledge that your vows are true and to be respected.”
This couple had been together for 11 years.