We wanted to be married for pretty much the usual reasons: we love each other; we believe in each other; we believe we can be better together than we are alone; we want to commit to one another, to care for one another (for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health), and to grow old together.Exactly. Really, how is this any different than a marriage between two straight fifty-somethings? The procreation argument as the only justification for marriage, falls on its very face.
We also have reasons that may be viewed as more peculiar to our individual identities. We are priests, and we believe marriage is sacramental--marriage creates new life with new possibilities and responsibilities. We believe that the two of us together, in our marriage, are called to additional ways to love and serve God and God’s people, above and beyond what each of us is already doing. We believe that such commitments are important and that they should be made, celebrated, and supported within community, within the broader Church.One of the things that has impressed me about TEC as I've gotten to know y'all is the truly traditional nature of a theology of total inclusion--it really is deeply consistent with the actual story of Christ. And, contrathe nay-sayers, it's not "anything goes". It's calling all people to the same standards and values. It raises everyone up. As we prepare for the blessing on our own marriage, I am mindful that this event lays a burden of responsibility on US to be part of the community.
While we're on the subject, let's be clear. The fact that the State authorizes a marriage in no way compels any Church to perform or recognize it. As priests, we are entitled to refuse to perform any marriage for any reason. Roman Catholics routinely demonstrate this liberty when they refuse to perform marriages of divorced persons, even though the State allows them to do so. Similarly, they refuse to recognize marriages of non-Roman Catholics even though the State has issued a license. Political arguments against states allowing same-sex marriages and the federal government recognizing these marriages that claim it would violate the “sanctity” of marriage and force churches to do something contrary to their teaching or their conscience, are blatantly misleading and dishonest. Marriage equality merely guarantees equality under the law to all citizens; it does not compel churches to do anything.Exactly. And the efforts of the RC and LDS churches to deny marriage equality, are actually infringing on the religious freedom of those who disagree. The marriage of the Revs. Ragsdale and Llloyd has absolutely no effect on any RC church, parish, priest, or lay person in Massachusetts. However, the RC church is actively attempting to infringe of the rights of the Episcopal Church to carry out what it feels called to do. This is the real abrogation of religious freedom and it needs to be pointed out at every opportunity.
.... we are in danger of becoming the newest poster-children in this on-going fight. All of this--for doing something as old-fashioned, traditional, and family value-focused as getting married surrounded by friends and family in the church.As Barney Frank commented not long ago,
"I do not think that any self-respecting radical in history would have considered advocating people’s rights to get married, join the Army, and earn a living as a terribly inspiring revolutionary platform."
Photo from here