This Sunday, October 7, Jaco and I will celebrate 22 years of legal marriage. Our anniversary always urges me to reflect on how lucky I am—not just because I married my soul mate all those years ago, although I never take that for granted. I know I am lucky also because no one questioned our right to get legally married in 1990. We just went down to the county office, got a license, then got married. As my young niece likes to say, easy peasy. But for our gay and lesbian friends, it hasn’t been easy peasy at all.
And here we are in 2012—so much has changed in 22 years! Next month, Washington citizens have the opportunity to be one of the first electorates to legalize marriage for more than just heterosexual couples, by confirming a law (already passed!) through the referendum process, R74. We have a chance to be leaders in this work for justice and equality. We can choose to make history. And I urge all of us to thoughtfully and spiritually consider those choices.
Some folks think that “religious people” don’t support gay marriage. It’s all too common for progressive religious types to get lumped in with our more conservative friends and neighbors. Sometimes I’m fine with that. (I actually believe that many religious people of all persuasions share more in common with each other than with those who live only in the secular world.) But in this case, it matters that we differentiate ourselves. It matters because those in the GLBT community who might think that all religious people are opposed to their happiness and commitment need to know that isn’t true. They need to know we value their marriages as much as Jaco and I value ours.
This past week, the Bainbridge Review printed an article showing the diversity of local religious leaders who support Marriage Equality and R74. Jaco and I are proud to be signers of that letter and to stand with others who want to end this discrimination and continue to build a more inclusive community. We urge you to not only make a commitment to affirm this important referendum but to talk with your friends and neighbors about why. Take a moment to practice saying, “I’m a religious person, I go to church, and I support Marriage Equality.”
It makes a difference. You can make a difference. We, as a state, can make a difference and make history. Thanks for Standing on the Side of Love for all those who want to marry, just as Jaco and I did 22 years ago this week.