Greenwich CT welcomes same-sex couples

If you’re a same-sex couple looking for a marriage license, you’re going to have to travel. So take the train to NYC, switch stations, and climb on the train for Greenwich. Since November 12, 2008, Greenwich has performed more than 139 same-sex weddings, more than any other town in CT.

Why? Well, why not? It’s gorgeous, and it’s close.

greenwich_600Janet Durrans of the NYT took this picture of Kari Hovland, left, and Marjorie Bennett of California, who traveled to Greenwich, Conn., to marry.

Tip: get married there and consider staying around for some sort of celebration. Might as well support the state that supports you.

Prop 8 Decision to Come Tomorrow

Dear Readers,

It looks as if California’s Supreme Court will hand down its rulings on Prop 8 which denies same sex marriage by tomorrow.

So today, while two sides wait in trepidation, let me speak to those who don’t believe this is a big deal.

Marriage is a big deal. There are not ever going to be too many loving, committed relationships. The right to marry is a big deal. Public marriage engenders support from the community. As a celebrant, I have seen parental and community support change as they witness their children’s weddings. “Oh,” they say, “they want to get married because they love one another.”

Another way to have your cake!

In Massachusetts, they’ve found that gays, who have the right to marry there, are divorcing as frequently as straights. On the other hand, Massachusetts has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country. The highest divorce rates in the country are in states where there is the biggest resistance to equal marriage rights.

  • I believe in equality of marriage rights.
  • I believe it will make marriage stronger as it emphasizes the importance of marriage and the protection of families.
  • I believe it is in the best interest of everyone to work for equal rights and equal rites.

I would like to see people who are concerned about marriage working on helping people stay married. Smacking our foreheads and saying it’s a dirty rotten shame has not been helpful. Smacking the divorcing and telling them they’re dirty and rotten has not been helpful. Here are the facts. People save more money and are more stable in marriage. Children are more secure and do better in life when raised in stable two parent families. Wanna work on something? Work on that!

Tip: Stand up for loving relationship. Stand up for stable communities. Stand up for marriage. Everyone’s and your own. Support Equal Marriage Rights.

If it’s a gay wedding is it a gay marriage?

At what point does a couple become simply a couple in marriage?

Now there are certainly problems in many marriages occurring between same-sex couples that occur because of outside hatefulness. But from what I’ve seen, marital problems with same-sex couples follow fairly predictable lines.

  1. People are different. It’s sometimes hard to agree on things.
  2. People have failings. No way around that.
  3. People get sick or tired and partners have to step up. It’s not always graceful.
  4. People lose jobs and parents and children and life is difficult. And you have to cope.

We need to be thinking about how to keep marriages of all kinds succeeding. One reason I advocate for public weddings is that we involve the community in the success of our marriages. Communities need stable relationships. It’s in their best interest to support them.

On today’s NY Times Op-Ed Page a transsexual, Jennifer Finney Boylan, wrote about her marriage and it’s ability to withstand the problems that arose when she realized she needed to be living as, to become, who she felt she was: a woman. Her wife, she tells us, ultimately found that she loved the essentials of the person more than the physical manifestations of that person. They have gone on building a marriage between them.

And yet, the courts think they have the rights to decide (and differently from state to state) whether they are married, whether they can inherit one another’s property should one spouse die, and whom they might marry should a partner die and the survivor decided to remarry.

Gender politics are always confusing, but rarely more so than in marriage. And adding the trans-gender thing to it, seems to add to the confusion. I loved these two paragraphs from this mornings editorial:

Similar rulings have left couples in similar situations in Florida, Ohio and Texas. A 1999 ruling in San Antonio, in Littleton v. Prange, determined that marriage could be only between people with different chromosomes. The result, of course, was that lesbian couples in that jurisdiction were then allowed to wed as long as one member of the couple had a Y chromosome, which is the case with both transgendered male-to-females and people born with conditions like androgen insensitivity syndrome. This ruling made Texas, paradoxically, one of the first states in which gay marriage was legal.

A lawyer for the transgendered plaintiff in the Littleton case noted the absurdity of the country’s gender laws as they pertain to marriage: “Taking this situation to its logical conclusion, Mrs. Littleton, while in San Antonio, Tex., is a male and has a void marriage; as she travels to Houston, Tex., and enters federal property, she is female and a widow; upon traveling to Kentucky she is female and a widow; but, upon entering Ohio, she is once again male and prohibited from marriage; entering Connecticut, she is again female and may marry; if her travel takes her north to Vermont, she is male and may marry a female; if instead she travels south to New Jersey, she may marry a male.”

Tip: Here’s the truth. Marriage is complicated. We need to spend our time getting people ready for healthy and happy marriage and then finding ways to keep them in those marriages. Our children will do better. Our society and our communities will do better. Let’s here it for making marriages stronger. Let’s stop worrying about who’s in the marriage and start worrying about how they’re making it work.

Acceptance of gay marriage creeping into mainstream! Yahoo!

Last night when I should have been sleeping, I was trolling msnbc.com (a new unfortunate habit!) and wound up watching the President’s speech to journalists.

President Obama was riffing (which is fairly amusing to see) about himself, his gorgeous wife, Democrats and Republicans. He then made a joke about one of his advisors. He said, “yep when he and I got together, he said let’s do what so many partners are doing. Let’s go to Iowa and make it official.”

Your President and mine, making a joke that acknowledges gay marriage in an approving way! Your President and mine unafraid to create a vision of himself as a guy with a male partner! That’s progress that we need.

Tip: You heard it here first, middle and last.

  1. Gay marriage is not what’s causing problems in heterosexual marriages.
  2. There is not too much love in the world.
  3. There are not too many stable families in our communities.
  4. It’s time to stop working to keep people out of marriage and time to start trying to keep people in them.

Gay marriage, their right, our responsibility. Straight marriage? Same deal.

Good on Barack!

Your Wedding Matters: Make Sure All Weddings Matter

Yesterday on my RSS feed, I got this disturbing article from Elizabeth Oakes, The National Wedding Examiner from Examiner.com. She wrote about the coercion of young girls into marriage around the world. You may or may not have heard about movement to lower the marital age again. Read her article and see why it’s not such a great idea either for the little girls or for you.

Marriage matters. The free willed acceptance of one responsible, loving partner by another is one of the most important choices and promises that individuals ever make and keep. It is sacred when and because the decision is made by responsible, loving partners. Same-sex marriages are sacred when the partners are responsible and loving. Heterosexual marriages are not sacred if one party has no say in her life, even if that marriage is made between a man and a woman(child).

For our marriages to be sacred, we must speak out against forced marriage. We must speak out against the enslavement of young girls. Every marriage should be as special as yours is. Every wedding should be as perfect.

Tip on the frog thing: My dears, if the frog doesn’t turn into a prince when you kiss him, don’t marry him. He’s not what you were looking for. This may be some of the best advice I’ve ever given!