A Wedding

Regular readers of this blog know that I took a nasty fall a few weeks ago, and fractured both my pelvis and my collarbone. I’ve been mending, but the process has been far slower than I’d like. Until last weekend, I had left the house–in my baggiest clothes– only for doctor’s appointments and physical therapy.

Mended or not, however, I wasn’t about to miss the wedding last Saturday of two friends I’ve known for at least 25 years.

I put on real clothes (immensely grateful to find my pants still fit!), and even applied makeup; as I told my husband, I felt almost like a real person again. And off we went–to attend the wedding of two women who’ve been together through good times and bad for the last thirty-eight years, two women who have used their multiple talents, compassion and generosity to contribute to the quality of life in our community.

They were married in a friend’s home, surrounded by dozens of well-wishers from their personal and respective working lives; academic colleagues of the retired history professor, co-workers from the various agencies where the lawyer worked before her own retirement, family members and neighbors.

One of the male relatives who  offered a toast put it well: “some people say marriage is about love, some say it’s about companionship, some say it’s about lust–but I say it’s about time.”

Indeed!

When I first met the two of them, many years ago, they were careful to leave people with the impression that they were roommates–clearly worried about losing jobs and/or friends if they were candid about the true nature of their relationship. Little by little, over the years, social attitudes changed and those concerns eased, and last Saturday–after 38 years, no longer young but still devoted–they were finally able to celebrate their lifetime commitment surrounded by family, friends and neighbors who love and appreciate them and wish them well.

It was a lovely wedding.

I will never, ever understand how the obvious joy of being able to affirm a loving relationship hurts–or even remotely affects–anyone else. I will never, ever understand the mean-spirited scolds who want to deny other people–people they don’t even know– the right to publicly celebrate a meaningful connection to someone they love.

And I will never understand why Indiana’s Governor and Legislature are willing to allow–indeed, encourage– one group of Hoosiers to treat another group badly. I will never understand the stubborn refusal to extend equal civil rights to all Indiana citizens, or why these “good Christians” feel entitled to use the law to marginalize and diminish wonderful people simply because they love differently.

On reflection, I think I’m glad I don’t understand them.

 

38 thoughts on “A Wedding

  1. I am glad you were able to go and celebrate with them.

    Pence and those like him are Not good Christians. I believe they make Jesus sad.

  2. I so agree with ALL of your comments, Sheila . I’m so glad you were able to celebrate with such committed friend! And, I certainly wish you more “dress up” outings …I think the associated boost in morale will speed up your recovery.

    Please convey my congratulations to your loving friends on the occasion of their wedding
    Thirty-eight years together in a such a homophobic environment is commitment at its best!

    Thanks, Sheila, I dearly love your informative and beautifully written commentaries! Bless you and yours.

  3. Congratulations to your friends and to you, too, for pants that fit, the desire to put on some lipstick, and your dedication to attending this wedding.

  4. So glad you are mending well. I send my congratulations and best wishes to your friends on their joyous occasion. Ditto on shame shame comments to anyone of any religion. Be Human! Not animals. For what is it that separates us?

  5. The other comments said what was in my heart and mind. It reminded me of my initial and recurring thoughts regarding that beautiful, talented actress Meredith Baxter when she decided to “come out” (what a silly term). “OMG; how miserable the first 56 years of her life must have been; playing the toughest role of her life as a straight woman.” She said she is happier than she has ever been and her children support her decision.

    Kudos and congratulations to your friends, Sheila, from one who “crossed the color line” for love and knows life is tough on both sides of that line and in or out of the closet. Friends such as yourself and Bob; strengthen others.

  6. Congratulations to your friends and to YOU for getting out to your first social event after your
    injuries. That’s a HUGE step, laborious though it is. But I’m so glad you felt ‘human’ again.
    Take a nap and keep on trucking.

  7. If people like Governor Pence, for one moment, took their bigoted blinders off, they would see that commitment like your friends demonstrate makes all marriages better.

    Congratulations to them and a complete recovery to you.

  8. What a great way to start a Monday! Congrats to your friends and to you for getting out among the living again. I hope you continue to recover and be well. Cheers!

  9. Sheila,

    As we all know, you’re both a loving and a very brave woman. Wishing the best for your friends.

  10. You have obviously made much good progress in your recovery! We hope to see you back at full speed very soon.

    Best wishes and congratulations to your friends on the occasion of their formal marriage. The commitment, loyalty, trust and love for one another is a model for all, especially the so called “Christians” who would condemn them.

    Thank you for once again bringing light and warmth to a dark place.

  11. I did not understand that you had broken two important bones to navigation. It is clear that your brain is still functioning well and that you are continuing to be a productive member of society. Get well soon! People such as Pence need to wake up and smell the roses – if they have not lost their ability to smell. These people have much to answer for in this world and perhaps the next for their rigid inability to live up to their own credos.

  12. The simple truth is that bigots like that are simple. Outside Indianapolis our state is full of simpletons.

  13. “I will never, ever understand how the obvious joy of being able to affirm a loving relationship hurts–or even remotely affects–anyone else.”

    Of course the proximate answer is that it doesn’t.

    However one of the most powerful tools of cultural manipulation has always been scapegoating which is depersonalizing and demonizing some set of others in order to coalesce a tribe around the emotions of fear and loathing.

    It’s a faith based product ingredient of power. It’s how those with an out of control need for control satisfy their addiction.

    It’s a defect both in the personalities of those in such need of control and those who are manipulated by it.

    By defect I mean a dysfunction in sociability, what separates Homo Sapiens from lower life forms. Or what some label “spirituality”. Or social academics call “empathy”. Or what Hallmark calls “love”.

    But mankind seems to stuck with a heaping helping of that flaw perhaps more noticeably now that we have infested every corner of our only home and connected via technology. It was tolerable and maybe even useful evolutionarily for small isolated villages as an agent of cohesion but we are way, way past those times.

    So we will either move culturally and educationally away from it or suffer from the chaos resulting from it.

    In the end behavior is always a cognitive choice.

  14. I am so happy that you are on the mend and well enough to get out.

    Pence and his buddies in the statehouse are small, frightened little men. And his female supporters are traitors to their sex and even smaller.

  15. Six years ago, my daughter and her then “partner”, also tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony with 60 family members and friends gathered to help them witness their wedding. I was so grateful that they were both born of a time when their marriage was possible and openly celebrated.
    I have a wonderful daughter and daughter in law to share my life with. Any religious edict or government decree that denies devotion and love of two people, should be eliminated.

  16. Cheers to your friends and to your rejoining society. Bones do take a depressingly long time to heal, so please continue to honor that process by resting. Your writing is so very delightful.

  17. So lovely to read this. I was the officiant at that wonderful wedding. I am pretty sure you could not see this from where you were sitting but when they read their vows to each other (and the vows certainly reflected each one of the women’s outlook on life) we all three teared up. It was all we could do to go on.

    I feel very blessed to have been able to be a part of their celebration.

  18. Sheila is our lab rat experimenting with the speed at which fractured bones repair themselves back to as good as new, or at least as good as old, all the while demonstrating how fractured society repairs itself by envisioning what fully functional means and crawling towards it.

  19. Hey Shiela. I’m a Christian who happens to be a lesbian and I know some “good Christians” who are my allies. In my opinion as a feminist, humanistic Christian, some people missed the message of the teachings of Jesus and are as legalistic as the Pharisees were but many have not including my Christian mother. Let’s not generalize. My friend Colleen officiated this wedding.

  20. I’m crying. Heartfelt congratulations to your friends’ ceremony. The commitment started decades ago. It’s unforgivable the ceremony was not allowed until recently.

  21. There must be a special place in Hell for Christians who use their religion to forment hatred and derision.

  22. I was so glad to also be there – you have managed to capture the essence of the love that filled the room and that will be forever one of the sacred moments of my life.

  23. As I sat in Pep Boys this morning waiting for an oil change on my 20 year old Sunfire, I picked up a copy of “The Weekly View”, April 15 through April 21, this is an east side community newspaper. The weekly columns by Alan E. Hunter, “Bumps in the Night” are often about ghostly occurrences but not always; this edition covered a ghastly occurrence from the 1950’s which we are dealing with today.

    We are all (all of a certain age) aware of Senator Joe McCarthy’s “Red Menace” Communism scare and trials but little was public about his “Lavender Scare” regarding his greater fear of homosexuals. “On April 27, 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10450 into law.” The language was broad: “Any criminal, infamous, dishonest, immoral, or notoriously disgraceful conduct, habitual use of intoxicants to excess, drug addiction, or sexual perversion” was prohibited from employment with the government.

    “Over the next few months, approximately 5,000 homosexuals were fired from federal jobs including private contractors and military personnel.” There seems to be no mention of anyone’s other “notoriously disgraceful conduct” section of that law losing jobs.

    “Quite literally, anyone considered “queer” was rounded up and branded as subversive, anti-American Communist sympathizers.”

    “Joe McCarthy himself was not the main power behind the anti-homosexual frenzy.” McCarthy hired Roy Cohn, who died of AIDS in 1986 and is widely believed to have been a closeted homosexual, as chief counsel of his Congressional subcommittee. Before anyone reminds me, I remember that Robert Kennedy was also counsel on that Congressional subcommittee. McCarthy and Cohn, with support from J. Edgar Hoover (also believed to be a closeted homosexual) prosecuted any and all homosexuals who came before them.

    President Eisenhower, Joe McCarthy, Roy Cohn and J. Edgar Hoover are all long gone from the federal government but has Executive Order 10450, signed into law April 27, 1953, ever been repealed? Are today’s anti-LGBT laws standing alone, without foundation, or are they a resurrection of this past law built on that “Lavender Scare” from 63 years ago?

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