I caught this moving video over at Pam’s House Blend. The first gay marriages in our nation’s capitol yesterday were first an African-American lesbian pair and then two brothers. I’m proud of my former hometown. I’m fortunate to have friends of all ages and from many walks of life. Some of them are homosexual. They are all wonderful people and they include one of my best friends from high school. Many of my gay friends have very nice, hard-working, tax-paying partners much like themselves, and it’s nice to know that their relationships (at least in Washington DC) are now recognized by law. This is not only symbolic — although that’s important. Marriage also conveys a host of legal rights and responsibilities (as many as 1400 distinct benefits) connecting two people as family that do not exist in any other form currently.
There are some of us who believe that marriage is a religious and spiritual institution. That it’s sacred. Fair enough — I believe that it would be great if you could receive the exact same benefits under civil unions that you can under marriage. That would be a clearer separation of church and state, naw mean?
That notwithstanding, I do not join those who believe that somehow gay marriage takes something away from marriage between a man and a woman. I don’t see how that’s even possible — true love in its many precious forms ennobles us all. Love creates more love; it doesn’t subtract the dignity of another person’s love. So many of my heterosexual friends lived together for years before marrying (some still do) for a host of reasons including the marriage tax penalty and the exorbitant cost of weddings — now that’s a real threat to marriage, if you ask me. I think marriage is super-cool if it’s done for the right reasons between two consenting adults. Everyone has a right to love. And homosexuality ain’t going nowhere — it’s been with us since the dawn of time, history shows clearly, and is a part of the human experience.
I’m pretty sure most of my friends who are gay would tell you it’s not an option for them – they were born gay. I was born heterosexual — I couldn’t “choose” a gay “lifestyle” even if I wanted to do so. My LBGT friends’ relationships don’t impact my ability to make my own very different choices. Yet I know it takes courage in America to stand for your rights as a full citizen are even in the face of those who misunderstand you or dehumanize you or hate you for reasons you can’t help, just because you exist. I do understand exactly what that’s like.
Celebrate a little belated black history below courtesy of Pam’s House Blend…
Angelisa Young and Sinjoyla Townsend
Officiant: Rev. David K. North, Pastor of Holy Redeemer of Metropolitan Community Churches, College Park, MD
Angelisa and Sinjoyla, both African-American women who reside in Ward 8 of the District, were the first in line to register for a marriage license, and will be the first lesbian couple to legally wed in the nation’s capital. Angelisa (age 47) and Sinjoyla (age 41) have been together for 12 years and have two children.
Reginald (Reggie) Stanley and Rocky Galloway
Officiant: Rev Sylvia E. Sumter, Pastor of Unity of Washington, DC
Reggie and Rocky, both African-American, are long-time residents of the District. They are both 50 years old and have two children. Reggie and Rocky will be married immediately following Angelisa and Sinjoyla. Participating in their ceremony will be Jim Cullion (the best man) and Cherrie McCoy (the best woman).
Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and Rev. Lorilyn Candy Holmes
Officiant: Rev. Dwayne Johnson, Pastor of Metropolitan Community Churches, Washington, DC
Rev. Elder Darlene and Rev. Candy, both African-American, were both born in D.C. and are currently residents of Laurel, MD. Each serve in leadership roles in the MCC Church and have been active in the D.C. community for more than 20 years. Darlene (61) and Candy (53), are mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers, and will celebrate their legal wedding ceremony immediately following Reggie and Rocky.
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