The Supreme Court ruling in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges ushered in a new era in the fight for civil rights. For years, gay couples had been championing for their right to marriage, and now, they could lawfully pledge their allegiance to each other and declare their love for all the world to see. Following the ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in all the 50 states, many gay couples flocked churches and other wedding places to tie the knot.
The first same-sex marriage I witnessed was held outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village during the New York pride parade. The place is considered the birthplace of modern gay rights movements and to sweeten things, the New York Governor would be officiating. Out of curiosity, excitement, and skepticism, my friends and I eagerly awaited the ceremony, which was being televised live. David Turley and Peter Thiede had chosen Governor Cuomo as the officiant since he had made their union a reality by signing the legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in New York State. On being asked why he had decided to officiate the ceremony, Cuomo replied that “Equality is not a choice. Equality is a promise. And this was about equality”(Klausner, 2015).
A few weeks ago, my friend Martha was invited to a gay wedding, and I asked if I could tag along, to which she delightedly agreed. The Wedding occurred on Sunday, September 6 at the Las Caletas Hotel. Tom and Brian, the grooms, had decided to hold the wedding in the evening. The guests arrived and were seated by 5.45 pm. The ceremony began at 6. 15 pm and only lasted 30 minutes. After the ceremony, there was a cocktail, followed by a group photo at around 7.00 pm, dinner at 7.30 and the cake cutting at 8.25 pm. This was followed by the reception at 9.00 pm after which guests were free to leave at will. A majority of the invitees, however, never left until the wee periods of the dawn.
Tom and Brian had met ten years ago in college and had cohabited subsequently. To them, the marriage was a form of a public announcement of their undying commitment to one another, acknowledgment and celebration of a 10-year relationship. These two clearly loved each other, and it was evident even as they recited the stigma they had faced and the better days they had had together.
What I found different about the wedding was the ease with which the crowd carried themselves. The crowd, mostly comprised of their relatives and gay pals, were jovial and very casual, from the mode of dressing to the chitchat occurring in the venue. The couple and the officiant did not disappoint either in providing entertainment. When asked by the officiant what brought them there, Tom replied, “A boat.” The vows were also different from those at the heterosexual marriages I had attended. In the end, the officiant blessed the couple by declaring, “By the power vested in me as one of your many friends who loves you very much, I now pronounce you as husbands for life. You may kiss your husband.”
It is said that no union is more intense than matrimony, as it exemplifies the uppermost epitomes of intimacy, devotion, and love. Proponents of gay marriage opine that it nurtures emotional security, economic prudence, and cohesion, and as such, should be lauded (Culhane, 2015). For scientific, social, and religious reasons, however, I beg to differ. First, same-sex marriage is a naturally sterile union that defeats the purpose of marriage, procreation. It not only offends God but also turns an ethical vice into a civil right, all the time imposing its approval on society. Where the marriage produces children, it not only parts children from one (or both) of their biological parents, but also denies them a parent from one gender, something detrimental to their development. As such, I am against same-sex marriage.
Culhane, J. G. (2015). Growing Support for Gay Marriage Isn’t Fake.
Klausner, A. (2015, June 28). ‘Love wins today’: New York Governor officiates his first ever gay wedding at the historic Stonewall Inn.