Over the weekend I had the privilege to witness my fist gay wedding. Of course, since gay marriage is not currently legal in the state of Illinois, technically this ceremony was a "formal exchange of vows". Be that as it may, it was an official Jewish ceremony and officiated by a Rabbi ( which took place under a Chuppah, a Ketubah was signed, etc).
The happy couple were both females; one of which (the "groom" as it were) an old friend of mine from high school (who used to ask me out to dances, haha) and her partner of 5+ years. Although there was a lull in which I was not in contact with my high school friend were years, we reunited a few years back and instantly got back into the friendship groove; what's more, I immediately LOVED her partner.
Together, they are an amazing couple. Witty, intelligent, kind and loving are but a few of the adjectives that come to mind when I think of them both. Needless to say, when the invitation arrived in the mail I wasn't too surprised, but whoa was I excited!
The big day finally arrived this past Saturday; I was worried i wouldn't be able to attend since I don't have a car and the place was way out in the 'burbs, but I was thankfully able to secure a rental car. Of course, I arrived super early and didn't know anyone (why are people my age in capable of showing up to important events on time? I mean, doesn't being on time mean being 10-15 early? I digress...).
I had thought I was would be seated with the table of old high school friends, instead I found myself assigned to the "homosexual" table, with a gaggle of girls and one other boy (along with a single straight couple). With the exception of the couple-to-be, we were the only homo's in a room of over 100+ people.
The ceremony was punctuated with tears but much more laughter (my friend was so nervous she kept screwing up her Hebrew prayers/vows) but it was never uncomfortable; the whole atmosphere was super laid back.
My favorite part was the speeches; usually I loathe this part of any wedding, in that the words spoken, though heartfelt and honest, are predictable and tend to drag on. Not in with these 2 families. Holy Shit, I wish I could remember some of the hilarious lines that were proffered, but I do remember no one worried about using words like "pussy", "tits", "fuck", etc. Maybe the best one was how my friend never officially came out to her older brother, even though "she used to enjoy the taste of carpet for as long as I can remember". HAHAHAHA. She "foramlly" came out a moment later, saying, "hey asshole...I'M GAY!".
Whereas the brother/sister/good friend speeches were hilarious, the parent's speeches were awe inspiring and nearly made me cry several times. There were pointed, although not angry mentions of "certain family members and friends that choose not to attend - and for them I feel sorry for them". That last line, said by my friend's father made the room stand still and heavy for moment, as if us just being there meant we weren't fucking assholes, (not that that warrants a pat on the back, those holdouts should be ashamed of themselves).
After the speeches and after dinner, the floor was turned over the new bride so she could sing to her new partner. I should note that the bride is super talented, like, this girl has some PIPES! She sang Etta James' "At Last". Oh man, so, So, SO COOL!
While driving home I was thinking about the whole gay marriage debate; yeah, it fucking sucks and it's not fair that most governmental bodies in this country won't (at this point) recognize their marriage. At the same time, their marriage is as real as anyone else's. Not only did they join together, and promise the rest of their lives together, both families are now and forever intertwined, and that's something that no government can take away from them.