Now that New Mexico has joined a growing list of states legalizing gay marriage, I am able to more fully embrace the blessing it is to be a gay marriage officiant. It is very rewarding to work with lesbians and gay men who, in most cases, are formalizing what is already a long-standing relationship.
The breadth of opportunities for gay couples is exciting. In some cases lesbians and gay men want to align with tradition. I enjoy having the barriers broken so that their relationships can truly be equal in the eyes of our government, their own religious beliefs and within their families. Terminology is easily adapted – two grooms, two brides, spouses, etc. – and can easily supplant the usual bride and groom.
In addition to ceremonies being built around existing wedding traditions, they can be imagined from the ground up. As a wedding celebrant, I like to emphasize the word celebrant. The ceremony is about celebrating love and a relationship and many gay couples do not want to merely mimic what has traditionally been done. It is enormously rewarding to brainstorm with a couple and create a structure and script that expresses the love, circumstance and belief of the couple.
When I came out to my family, many decades ago, my brother initially felt sad for me, saying, “two men couldn’t possibly experience the depth of love that a man and a woman experience.” Fortunately, a lot of information and the example my 17 year relationship offered, turned his thinking around. Fast forward to a couple of years ago, when I officiated the gay wedding ceremony for our cousin and his husband, which formalized their 30 year relationship. On that emotional day I witnessed my brother in heartfelt embrace – and kissing – his new cousin-in-law. That was special!
So whether your groom wants to wear a veil, or you both want to be in tuxes, I would love to imagine your ceremony with you. And if your bride wants to wear a suit or you’re both going to be in a white dress, I’m good to go. I love being part of your self-expression and want to endorse and embrace you with all my heart!