Driving home the other day, a bunch of people had put up signs on a pedestrian overpass across an 8-lane freeway. They were waving at the traffic, which had slowed to a crawl to read the signs, “Yes on Prop 8” and “Honk for Prop 8.” I didn’t hear any honking. Was that because they’d caused a traffic problem, and folks were irritated at the delay? Or because folks aren’t in favor of Prop 8, which would ban gay marriage?
I’ll vote on gay marriage twice next week: one vote in the California general election, and again later at a diocesan convention. Integrity has proposed that we allow gays to use the Book of Common Prayer to be married in the church by their Episcopal minister. Right now that’s all banned, in deference to the wishes of the Anglican Communion.
For me, supporting gay marriage is a no-brainer. If an adult is lucky enough to have found the right person, the one that’s going to provide the mutual love, companionship, security, and joy that we all hold up as the ideal relationship between two human beings, those two people should be able to marry, to receive the civil contract and religious sacrament of marriage. It blows my mind that people can get married while scuba-diving or sky-diving or in a drive-through in Vegas, but if your sexual orientation is in the minority, you can’t be married in the church you grew up in, by the minister who guides your spiritual life.
Marriage doesn’t solve everything. Just look at the divorce rate. And being married won’t force acceptance or support of that marriage by the in-laws. Those problems exist for marriages regardless.
But there’s a part of the marriage service in the Book of Common Prayer where the minister asks the congregation present, “Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?”
The people respond, “We will.”
I remember the visceral feeling of solidarity, as I heard the voices of our families and friends say those words at my own marriage. I’ll be casting my votes next week with the same emphatic support. All in favor.