A few simple words, yet they hold so much power~ “By the power vested in me…”
Until I officiated my first legal same-sex wedding here in California, I was not completely aware of the power held within those few simple words. Granted, I thought I was. Yet, in the moment it became clear to me that it was something I got more on an intellectual level. Being able to say the words aloud for the first time to a same-sex couple, even after practicing a bit, I was choked up to say the least. It was a first for me on many levels and I will say that it is a different experience to be able to pronounce a couple legally married. And I am grateful that I can now do so for all of the couples I work with.
The ceremony and legal blessing is just one step on the relationship journey of the sweet couple I had the honor of marrying. They chose to come to me because they wanted to make it legal and take advantage of the rights they have been denied as a couple and family for the duration of their relationship. However, like many couples who call me they recognized the meaning of this particular step and wanted a ceremony with a little more depth than the one they could have at the courthouse.
Their particular journey is not unlike many same-sex couples~ it has been over the course of several years, creating a home and family together. Multiple times and in multiple ways over the years they have made their commitment to one another. Yet, this one next step was an important one for them as a couple and for their daughter.
Since the wedding I have had several conversations with other same-sex couples, friends, and a colleague who is also an Officiant. By the way, she is a most fabulous heterosexual ally who I am proud to call my colleague! Each person has acknowledged the power and meaning held within those words and the emotions it brings up for them. Tears of joy. Relief. Gratitude.
Many of us who have been out or in a relationship for many years did not think we would ever see this day arrive. Yet, here it is. While there are many benefits that go along with this legal declaration, the primary benefit is to have the relationship, the love and commitment shared, acknowledged. Honestly, we do not really need this legal ceremony and document to legitimize the shared love and commitment, to legitimize our relationships. Being the hopeless romantic I am I will say it sure is nice.