Someone very dear to me called the other day to say that she and her boyfriend are talking about getting married. She was brimming with so much joy and excitement that I practically felt the sunlight of her happiness radiating through the phone and I swear I saw a flock of doves take flight on the bright blue horizon of her hope.
My heart rejoiced with her. I really am over-the-moon happy for anyone who finds love, especially the kind of love that makes them feel wanted, safe, respected and full of faith in a flourishing future. Love is good. Always.
But, and I figure you knew there was a but, my mind squawked but thank the sweet baby Jesus that I kept my mouth shut. What I thought but did not say is “so you can just sashay on down to the courthouse and get your marriage license, the third one yon which our name will have been printed, and no one will bat an eye. No one will feel their “religious liberty” is being threatened and no one gets to vote whether or not you get to marry your beloved.” Well isn’t that nice.
In the end I just felt like an ass. I have no right to say to my dear one anything that dampens her joy. I have no right to steal her good news and turn it into a bitter lesbian shaming tirade about inequality. I have no right to drag out my crazy preacher lady soap-box and start sermonizing about the sacred worth of LGBT folks. No, in that moment the right and only thing to say was, “That is wonderful, congratulations! I love you.”
And so I did.
And now, time to get back to work so that everyone has the right and privilege to make that phone call.