marriage equality

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) by DonkeyHotey via his Flickr photo stream and used under creative commons license.
I recognize some Americans still feel threatened by gay marriage. I don’t understand that fear, but I respect it. I also respectfully suggest if you believe gay marriage is about what happens in the bedroom, you really don’t understand marriage at all.

I’m 55. I don’t remember my age when I first realized I had gay friends in high school. It’s certainly not something anyone was open about at the time. It wasn’t something we talked about.

But, I remember the moment I knew it was wrong to deny two loving, committed people the same respect we give married couples solely because they are the same gender. When I consider gay friends and family members, I don’t think about the bedroom, I think of the hospital room. I recall the funeral home.

In times of sickness and death, I’ve watched gay friends and family members be ushered from the room so “family” can gather near. When someone is ill or dying, we reserve our deepest sympathies, greatest empathy, and most tender touch for the wife or the husband. Yet, who ministers to the “friend” or “partner.”

When someone passes, his or her years of devoted marriage are the one legacy we hold in highest virtue. You’ll find it in every obituary and hear it in every eulogy. So, how can we deny the same level of reverence and respect for two men or women who’ve shared that same sacred journey of lifelong devotion and love?

The vow is easy to say, but clearly much harder to fulfill — “…for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” How often today do deeds fall short of that promise?

Yes, actions speak louder than words. “To love, honor, and cherish – as long as we both shall live.”

Any two people who attain that deserve all the respect and acknowledgement our society can muster.

Thanks, SCOTUS, for making the right call!

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) by DonkeyHotey via his Flickr photo stream and used under creative commons license.
Maurice Carter

Maurice Carter

Maurice Carter is President and Founder of Breathe-Water, LLC, where he uses community building, storytelling, consulting, and social media to enable businesses, non-profits, and communities to understand and harness forces for positive change. An Atlanta native living in Covington, GA, Maurice is an active community volunteer, a freelance columnist, and an advocate for causes that build community and promote thoughtful responses to the opportunities and challenges of our day.