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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part XI

Imagine an American girl, your daughter or niece, your granddaughter or cousin, your sister; imagine her, and imagine that it is you yourself telling her that her hopes for a wedding, her dream of wearing a beautiful dress, a wedding-gown, of being led down the aisle toward the one person with whom she wants to spend the rest of her life; imagine telling her that her dream is nonsense, that it is never going to happen, that it should never happen-not in this country, not according to your tradition.

People are not encouraged to enter marriage blindly, quite the contrary.

People are encouraged to enter into marriage from relationships that are already established, already tested, with people upon whom they already rely, already trust, and already know.

The time for marriage comes when the couple has discerned, through experience, that this one person is the person who completes them, who understands the other, who is best able to support their partner, in and through all the unknowns that will be coming ahead them; through the good times and the bad, whether there is sickness or health, whether poverty or wealth.

The time for marriage comes when the couple has discerned that their partner is the one person who they want by their side for the rest of their lives; to have, and to hold, to love and to cherish.

Imagine telling this American girl, or this American boy, these American children who dreams of wedding rings and spoken vows, of sharp suits and flowing gowns, of tuxedos with tails, and family gathered together to hear her and him say that they have found the person they love above all others and they ready to settle down, make a home, and provide for them, with them, together; imagine telling that girl and that boy that this dream for a future of happiness, of security, a dream which we encourage all girls and boys to dream, is a dream they should stop dreaming because the framework of your tradition is not expansive enough to include them.

Imagine telling these children, these hundreds of thousands of American children that this dream is not for them because they are different, because the person they love, or will come to love is the same gender as they.

Imagine telling them this and try to make sense out of why their gender matters, in light of all those other considerations.


Imagine telling them this, and know; that in all of our stories, in all of our great literature, in all of our epics, in our poetry, it is invariably the villain who stands in the way of love.