What do you call more than 40 same-sex couples marrying en masse on the lawn of Austin’s capitol? A “Big Gay Wedding,” of course! And what a gay event it was. The sun was shining and these brightly arrayed couples—many of whom were dressed in matching outfits—showed up smiling and ready to go. After all, some of them had been waiting for years, even decades, until they could tie the knot legally in their home state.
Rob and I simply would not have missed it!
I write this for you for two reasons. If you are LGBTQ-affirming, I bring you this unprecedented event so you can share in the joy not only of these 4o couples but of couples across the country who have waited for decades for this right to marry their beloved. For those who have waited so long for this basic civil right are rejoicing indeed.
I also write this for those who are non-affirming. I share this in hopes that you will take a good look at what is going on here. I understand that you may be very committed to something you have believed for a very long time, something that quite frankly you are terrified to look at any other way. I honestly, really, truly understand that fear.
But, please, I ask you to lay aside what you already know and instead ask God if there is anything different for you to see here. It’s okay to ask. Great people of faith in the Bible and throughout history have asked.
Who knows? If somehow, in some way, you may have missed anything about this, God is very willing to show you that. But to hear it, you have to be willing to hear.
If you think there is no chance you could be wrong, that even God could not shift your thinking, don’t pretend to be open. If you believe that strongly about what you already know, then really, I’d say you have other business to attend to with God.
So I ask you know: are you willing?
Because here’s the thing. If you had stood on that lawn with me, you would have seen love, and joy, and beauty, and peace. You would have seen couples in love, in tears as they took vows that only a ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States granted them the right to take. You would have seen parents legally joining together in marriage to help protect their children.
And if your heart had been open to the love supernatural God alone makes possible in us, you might have been profoundly moved. You might have laughed, or cried. And you would have understood that those who have vilified these people, told them they are hated and despicable, are wrong… if you had been open to it.
And if God’s love had truly been flowing through you (the love Jesus said would be identify us as Jesus’ followers), that love would have flowed right on to these people you didn’t even know but whose heart of love was evident on this, their big day, their Big Gay Wedding Day.
Below are the simple but profound vows – written by Jodie Flint – these couples spoke to each other—simple, profound, life-changing vows. I ask you to read these vows, and the concluding remarks, from the couples’ perspective. Ask God to speak to you as you read.
These LGBTQ people are not out to destroy marriage but to participate in marriage – celebrating commitment, love, family, forever!
What more could you want as evidence that they hold marriage dear?
Today, as freely as I was given life, I join my life with yours, to stand by your side, to listen when you speak, to comfort you when you cry, and to join your laughter with my own.
Today, I choose you to be my life partner.
I promise to live by your side, to be the joy of your heart, the sustenance of your soul and the best person I can be for you.
Wherever you go, I will go; whatever you face, I will face.
I will be the shoulder you lean on, the rock on which you rest, the companion of your life.
I promise to hold you gently and lovingly until our days on earth are over.
Turn for a moment and look around you–notice your friends, your families, and the groups of other well-wishers. Stand quietly. Feel the generous gift of love coming your way from all directions–this is the feeling of a community of support for each marriage here, and we promise, each to each, to remind one another of the promises and the love this day brings.
By the power vested in us by the decision of the Supreme Court of The United States and the laws of the State of Texas, we now pronounce you married!
Please kiss now!
I hope your heart was moved. I hope that if you were not affirming, that you allowed God to speak to you about the facts, not the false fears, of Marriage Equality.
Because in the end, whatever you may think about these vows, or about this Big Gay Wedding, Marriage Equality is the law of the land, and it is here to stay.
And the more all of us, especially those who claim to know Jesus, can be the love Jesus told us to be, the more we will experience the truth about God and about us, and see that truth present in our relationships, in the public discourse, in the world.
I can’t think of a better hope than that.