As each state affirms the right for same sex couples to marry I rejoice

The Rev Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), issued the following statement applauding the legalization of same-sex marriage in New Jersey:

“Today, New Jersey becomes the 14th state to allow marriage equality ensuring equal rights for its citizens. It is a historic day and a victory for all who support justice and equality.

“Many couples who have waited so long for this day are already applying for marriage licenses, and weddings are being performed by many Unitarian Universalist ministers across the state.

“More and more Americans realize that marriage equality strengthens families, protects children, and ensures basic rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples. I applaud the work of those people and organizations, including our Unitarian Universalist congregations and ministers, who have fought so hard for so long for this cause.

“New Jersey Governor Chris Christie‚Äôs decision to drop his appeal against the court ruling is just another indication that marriage equality is here to stay. As always, Unitarian Universalists will continue to stand on the side of love, and we look forward to the day when marriage equality is the right of all families.”

As each state affirms the right for same sex couples to marry I rejoice and I mourn. I am so happy for all the same sex partners who have been living and working together for years who now have the same rights as married heterosexual couples.

The sadness rises from the 39 years Charles and I have worked to legitimize our relationship with each other, our families, our friends, banks. The odds have never been in our favor. Charles was never able to speak of our relationship with his father before he died. Luckily we are stubborn. Now that the odds are becoming favorable state by state I feel the punishing nature of the constitutional amendment that passed in Kansas to ban same sex marriage more acutely than ever before. We are determined to do what we can, with your help, to overrule this ban.

The ability to love fully is an art which requires continuing effort and the support of family, friends and communities. It is not something that comes easily. So much of our culture promotes division, competition, greed, insular thinking … We need places which challenge us to love with less reservation and support us in our efforts to do so. My call to Unitarian Universalist ministry asks me to be mindful of my capacity for compassion. Ahhh, it sounds so nice, but not so easy to practice. Our progressive faith community inspires me to keep on trying and to do what I can to make my ability to love authentic and healthy.

Charles and I will be married in California on November 17th. We hope to have a ceremony in May at the Fellowship where you, family and friends can help us celebrate love between equals.

Michael

CELEBRATING LOVE … This month, Michael Nelson begins his scheduled sabbatical leave, returning December 4. While away, Michael and his long-time partner Charles will be united in marriage on November 17, in California. Congratulations, Michael and Charles, with all our love and best wishes!!!

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