Recently a friend invited me to join a Facebook group called “I will not attend another wedding until marriage is legal for everyone.” My initial thought was “I agree that marriage should be legal for everyone, I should click the confirm button.” At first, my only hesitation was caused by my reluctance to join any groups on Facebook simply on the basis of the inherent privacy issues of doing so.
But then I got to thinking about this group a little more, and the statement it makes.
By declaring this boycott, who is really being helped? And who is being hurt?
The last wedding I attended was a commitment ceremony for a gay couple. A rabbi presided, throngs of family and friends attended. It was a truly beautiful ceremony. The love in the hall was palpable. It was a heartfelt, spiritual, joyful service.
In my mind, this event was every bit a wedding. When I asked myself, “what was the last wedding I attended?” that was the answer that immediately came to mind.
Unfortunately for this couple—as for so very many others—it was not a state-sanctioned, legally binding ceremony. They are not “legally married.” They are not entitled to all the legal rights that any married hetero couple (loving or otherwise) receive as a matter of course. They probably can’t include each other in their health care benefits, or avail themselves of the income tax breaks of filing jointly.
Does that suck? Absolutely.
Would my not attending their wedding—or anyone else’s, for that matter—have changed that fact? Hardly.