Keeping Families Together
The Asian And Pacific Islander Family Pride Blog
July 22, 2011
Wedding vs. Reality: Love vs. Dogma
By BELINDA AND JOHN DRONKERS-LAURETA
We’re still in Newark, NJ, basking in the afterglow of a fabulous wedding and also a record shattering heat wave. The boys are on their honeymoon visiting friends and seeing the sights in major cities. A stream of texting arrives daily: stay in air-conditioned places, visit museums, here are some good restaurants to stay in until it cools down. They worry about us old folks.
In the rural New York town of Barker, town clerk Laura Fotusky resigned her position rather than issue marriage certificates to same sex couples. Saying that she could not comprise her conscience she had to choose between her job and her God. It would have to be HER God, because some people’s God would have no problem. Still, misguided as she is, there is a part of her action we respect, acting in accordance with her conviction. Now let’s work to change her conviction and that of all the other misguided people.
When the boys get back from their honeymoon, they will have to register their union with the State of New Jersey. They seem to be a tad blasé about this. Lance, our son, works for an organization that provides partner benefits and Francis is self-employed as an antique dealer, plus they have been together for 15 years already. Still, registering would complete the process and make available the New Jersey rights and privileges married couple have. By the way, they can’t call themselves married in New Jersey and someone is suing over that.
The State of New York has six Episcopal dioceses. Now that gay marriage is legal in New York, the six bishops running those dioceses are divided about how to respond: two have allowed their priests to officiate, one forbids it, two are waffling, and one allows priests to bless, but not officiate at, same sex marriages. For now, this is as it should be. People married without a church long before Jesus and 1200 years after Jesus, for marriage’s link to religion dates from the 12th century. If you and your same sex partner want to get married, go to City Hall, if you want to associate a church with your wedding, find one that understands it is about love, not gender.
The boys had a gorgeous ceremony. They had a professional wedding singer, Lance’s friend from Sarah Lawrence College days, and the signal for the start of the ceremony was her singing “We Belong.” Then the DJ’s played “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and the wedding party came through the doors, down the patio’s center aisle to sit in front. When the party was seated the DJ’s played “Bridal Abba” and the boys came out, down the aisle to their seats. Now came the time for the Mistress of Ceremony, another friend from Sarah Lawrence, who welcomed everyone to “The Commitment Ceremony of Lance and Francis as they celebrate their 15th anniversary together.” At some point the wedding singer sang “You’ll Never Get Away from Me,” and the boys exchanged their vows. They each had prepared their own vows and both promised a lifelong commitment to love and support. After that, the exchange of rings; Francis’ three-year old nephew gave him the ring to give to Lance. Francis said: “This ring is a token of my love. I marry you with this ring, with all that I am.” Lance answered: “I will forever wear this ring as a sign of my love for you.” Then, Lance’s three-year old niece gave him the ring to give to Francis. Same promise, same response. The Mistress of Ceremony: “I now pronounce you partnered forever!” The DJ’s played “Xanadu” and the boys sealed their commitment with a kiss. See, it is all about love.
Belinda and John Dronkers-Laureta are board members of Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride www.apifamilypride.org