Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Gay Wedding

Now, let me see. I could substitute any of the following for the word “gay."

Our Happy Wedding

Our Exciting Wedding

Our Merry Wedding

Our Peppy Wedding

Our Perky Wedding

Our Snappy Wedding

Our Jazzy Wedding

Our Jaunty Wedding

Yes, our wedding was and is all of these things, but it was definitely a same-sex marriage. So,
 I must keep the title, Our Gay Wedding.

A Brief History

Joe and I went to the New York City Clerk’s office on July 19th and completed our marriage application, and on August 15th at 3:00 P.M. the Reverend Pat Bumgardner married us at the Metropolitan Community Church of New York. It was a small ceremony with 9 people present including Joe and myself. However, as one of the party said to Reverend Pat afterward, “I felt the presence of God.”

We are celebrating that August 15th marriage over and over again. On September 15, 2012 we celebrated our wedding with our Rehoboth Beach, Delaware friends. In October we will return to Lancaster to celebrate with friends and family there. Finally, this winter we will celebrate with friends in south Florida. In part we celebrate repeatedly because after 44 years of living in sin ☺ , Joe and I are tied together by a Christian Church ceremony and have a license that is legal in the state of New York. There was no point in doing the ceremony in Florida where we have our legal residence, as it is doubtful such arrangements will be legal during our lifetime. Never the less WE ARE MARRIED!

So, Why Bother After Being Together 44 Years?

As I have explained to some gay friends who seem a bit skeptical as to the practicality of marrying - there are at least three important reasons for doing so. First, Joe and I wanted to take this Twenty-first Century step now available to us to seal our relationship in the eyes of God and one state – and yes it does feel much more blessed and special compared to the past 44 years. It makes a profound difference in my understanding of our long-term commitment to one another. Second, legally we add another document to the powers and wills that protect us from total financial ruin should one of us die before the other. Third, we announce along with a cadre of LGBT people who have also taken advantage of legal marriage in those few states in which it is allowed that this final barrier to first class citizenship for eight percent of the population must be broken.

I had originally thought that Joe and I should just sneak off to NYC, get married and celebrate with friends later. Three couples insisted that they be present, and they took all the photographs of our ceremony and the dinner at Dos Caminos, Park Avenue afterward.

Some of these are from a beautiful book that a dear friend put together from photographs she and her husband took during and after the ceremony. Still others were taken by another dear friend and assembled into a second book. I find it significant that our heterosexual friends have been so extremely supportive of our plans to marry. They have demonstrated to me personally that this issue of “Gay Marriage” is purely social and should not be a political and/or religious Christian (Not all Christians) weapon, though it unfortunately is, and has been historically.

Anyway, who would have thought when Joe and I met back in 1968 that we would someday be able to be married!


Marian L Shatto said...

This definitely brought tears to my eyes. I am SO VERY HAPPY for you both. And to think that I met you in 1968 ~ in on the ground floor, as it were. I can hardly wait to see you on October 7.

And by the way, your marriage is also recognized by Canada and much of Europe. By the time the current crop of teens and 20-somethings are running things in the U.S., it should be a non-issue here, too. Twenty years ago I could have hardly imagined it.

columnist said...

Congratulations! Like you my husband and I were together a long time (22 years) before we entered into a Civil Partnership (the British version then) in 2007. It just seemed "about time"!

Just stumbled upon your blog, and after reading this thought I really ought to leave a message. All the best!

Kittredge Cherry said...

A belated but heartfelt congratulations on your wedding!!!

Dr. John Bittinger Klomp said...

Thanks Kitt, columnist, and Marian!