This Sunday, I’m using a passage from the Book of Ruth for our text of the month. Five years ago, a lesbian couple used it in their wedding, toward the beginning of the 2008 Summer of Love. Then another lesbian couple used it a few years later. You may be familiar with it, the one that starts “Where you go, I will go . . .” Ruth ends up marrying a dude in the Bible story, but I will go into why this passage has nevertheless been meaningful in lesbian weddings.
In the months since Proposition 8 has been overturned, I’ve done a lot of same sex weddings, as one might imagine. It’s been a lot of fun. Several of them couples who have been together two or more decades. One of them so their mothers could see them get married before imminent deaths. One with two young women from Texas who met in the Navy. Who gets married at 9 a.m. on a Friday morning? Lesbians in the Navy.
In most ways, hetero and same sex weddings feel exactly the same. The whole point is for the couple’s community to bless the union with their presence. But I can hardly put into words how they are different. There is a special kind of joy present at same-sex weddings. Families are opening their hearts to stand on the side of love, and they are showing up. Because the couple’s parents are present, or grandparents, the brides or grooms are ecstatic.
The very first sermon I gave at Neighborhood was about just this – legal same sex marriage is about far more than the legality. It’s about the sacredness of family blessing – the sacredness of being known, being loved, being blessed. It’s about more than acceptance or tolerance – when the most important family members show up for the wedding, tolerance is not blessing the union, love is.
-Rev. Hannah Petrie