There Are No Guarantees
The Supreme Court rulings today, striking down DOMA and allowing Judge Walker’s ruling against Proposition 8 to stand are welcome steps in the movement of our country to a more just and equal nation.
As a result of today’s rulings, same-gender couples in California and other states who are able to marry, will have their marriage receive the same Federal recognition as mine. This is a great step forward, but it is one of many still to come. And it is no guarantee.
Susan and I just celebrated 36 years of marriage. While it seems like a good run, we have friends who celebrated 64 years on the same day! I can tell you, that all those years ago, there was no guarantee that we would make it.
I don’t think our parents expected it. I know some of our friends did not expect it. To be honest, I was not sure we would make it. It has not been particularly hard, but it was not easy either. There was no guarantee.
Well, there was one guarantee. We were guaranteed a chance to try.
As a priest, I have helped a number of couples prepare for marriage. If Susan and I (37 year ago versions) were to come before me, as their pastor, I am not sure that I would think they were ready. But we were guaranteed the chance.We grew up with the possibility of marriage, and making the most of it – or not.
At St. Paul’s we have Gay and Lesbian couples who have been together as long or longer than Susan and me. When they made the decision to give themselves to each other, they didn’t even have our single guarantee.
Today that changes.
Today, in a world that offers few guarantees, Lesbian and Gay Californians have one. They are guaranteed the chance to try and make a marriage work.
Our work as the community of faith is to support them, as we have tried to support opposite-gender couples. I hope this is good news for those who only recently have been permitted to marry. If it is, it will be because we have become a community of blessing. We have become a community that listens to Jesus and practices welcome and compassion. We have become a community that walks with one another. Our work as a community of blessing has just begun, again.
And there are no guarantees.