civil marriage is a civil right

I'm incredibly proud to be a member of my church. This evening we celebrated 10 years as a Welcoming Congregation — welcoming, that is, of the full diversity of humanity, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. We also celebrated the 10th anniversary of our congregation's chapter of Interweave (Unitarian Universalists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Concerns). And, we re-dedicated our church's decision two years ago to hang a banner on the outside of the building, reading "Civil Marriage Is a Civil Right." (The elements wore out the original, and now we have a lovely, bigger, sturdier banner to replace it.)

I made a couple of contributions to the evening. I led everyone in singing Libby Roderick's lovely song, "How Could Anyone":

How could anyone ever tell you
You were anything less than beautiful?
How could anyone ever tell you
You were less than whole?
How could anyone fail to notice
That your loving is a miracle?
How deeply you're connected to my soul?

In addition, I made two half-sheet cakes (banana and chocolate!), one featuring two groom figurines, and one with two brides. (Similar cakes, which I also made, appear in this picture from the original banner dedication; there's also a third, featuring an interracial heterosexual couple.)

My church passed a resolution 10 years ago affirming our commitment to equality for people regardless of their sexual orientation or expression. In addition, our larger denomination passed a resolution in 2004 opposing a federal amendment to the Constitution defining marriage as being solely between and man and a woman. I am close friends with couples who have been life partners for many years, who nonetheless live with daily discrimination as a result of being unable to make a simple contract equivalent to heterosexual marriage. Rights pertaining to insurance, finances, children, taxes, housing, and much more are denied them as a matter of course, although the only difference between their relationship and mine is that they're the same sex. That isn't civil, and it isn't right.

I hope that I'll see the day when all my friends share in our nation's supposed commitment to equality for all. In the meantime, I'm proud to be part of a small but vocal segment of my community that is striving to make a basic civil right available to everyone.

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