I’m Getting Married Again

The awesome cakes from last night’s Legal Marriage (P)Reception, the brainchild of Rachel Swan.

When Courtney and I were married by Doug Pagitt at Solomon’s Porch in July, 2011, there were no legal documents signed. The State of Minnesota and Hennepin County were not invited to our wedding. Our parents, my kids, other family and friends all celebrated just as joyously as any other wedding (maybe even moreso), and no one asked when we were going to sign the legal contracts required by the state for our marriage to be sanctioned by the government.

I’m guessing that no one thought twice about that because we could get legally married any time we wanted. Many of our friends, however, could not. That meant that their marriage ceremonies, while sacred, did not have the potential to be legal. It was for this reason that Courtney and I decided to forego legal marriage until such time as our GLBT friends were afforded all of the benefits that accrue with a legal marriage. (In Minnesota alone, that was estimated to be 515 benefits.) [Read more…]

On the Right Side of History on Gay Marriage

John Stumme, left, kisses his husband Kyle Hanson in the state capitol’s rotunda immediately after the Minnesota Senate passed a bill making Minnesota the 12th state in the country to legalize gay marriage May 13, 2013. (Courtney Perry)

I realize that it is a grandiose claim to say that, regarding marriage equality, I stand on the right side of history. But that’s exactly what I felt as I stood in the rotunda of the Minnesota State Capitol and held vigil with thousands of others as the State Senate debated HF 1054, extending the right to marry to same sex couples. At 4:19pm, it passed 37-30, and today at 5pm, Governor Mark Dayton will sign it into law.

I stood alongside Doug Pagitt, Jay Bakker, and Russell Rathbun, fellow (straight, white, male) Minnesota clergymen who also support marriage equality. Dozens of clergy were in the crowd, based on the number of clerical shirts I saw. Many of them stood in the middle, leading songs — we were along the edge of the crowd, greeting people we know. Also there were Courtney with her camera (see above), Wendy Johnson and her daughter, our friends Bryan and Scott, and other friends and acquaintances. We were receiving news about the speeches inside the Senate chambers via text message and Twitter.

Marriage equality is a civil rights issue.

[Read more…]

“There Are Two Marriages” eBook

Welcome, Washington Post readers.  If you’ve read Lisa Miller’s column about my views on marriage, I invite you to read the eBook in which I’ve collected my posts on the matter.  It’s $.99 on the Amazon Kindle.  It’s about 3,300 words.

If you’re unfamiliar with ebooks, they’re quite easy to read — for instance, you can download a FREE Kindle reading app to your PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone.  (Or, you could buy a Kindle — I was given one as a gift, and I love it!)

There Are Two Marriages – Conclusion and Video Chat

This brings me to the end of my series, “There Are Two Marriages.”  Before my concluding thoughts, I want to thank so many of you for contributing to the conversation in the comments (and some of you on your own blogs).  I’d also like to invite you to join me for a video chat discussion on Google+ at 10am CDT on Thursday, September 15 (tomorrow). If you go to my profile on Google+ at that time, you can join my hangout, and we can talk about these marriage posts.

This is a tricky issue, to be sure.  And I’m not sure that I’ve worked through it perfectly.

I am well aware that, in the past, the US government did have an interest in what happens in the bedroom.  We learn that in 10th grade when we read The Scarlet Letter.  (Yeah, yeah, I know that’s set in colonial America, but it’s a commentary. Get it?)  The proliferation of early 20th century American laws against sodomy, adultery, and the like shows that the state did at one time think it could legislate and litigate what citizens did in private.

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