Sadly, travel to Boston on New Year's Day for the wedding of Katherine Ragsdale and Mally Lloyd wasn't an option for us ... but we sent our prayers and best wishes across the miles and were "there in spirit" with the 400-or-so who gathered on Saturday at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
It's a wedding anniversary that will be easy to remember: 1/1/11 ... a great date for a fabulous couple to officially begin living happily ever after.
It was not just a great day for a couple of great women ... it was a great day for the all who believe that the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice ... inclusion ... liberty and justice for all ... the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments ... pick your favorite.
From the Episcopal News article on the wedding:
The marriage at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston took place just more than a year after [Bishop Tom] Shaw gave diocesan clergy permission to solemnize marriages for all eligible couples. Massachusetts allows same-gender couples to marry.And let the people say "AMEN!"
"God always rejoices when two people who love each other make a lifelong commitment in marriage to go deeper into the heart of God through each other," Shaw is quoted in an EDS press release as saying during the service. "It's a profound pleasure for me to celebrate with God and my friends Katherine and Mally their marriage today."
Dr. Fredrica Harris Thompsett was the preacher at Saturday's wedding and here's a quote from her sermon:
Could it be that in the midst of today’s celebration we are once again learning to look with God’s eyes? Could it be that we are learning again and again to recognize that every child is conceived in the image of God. Could it be that the presence of God in all living things – in “All creatures of our God and King” – is what makes them beautiful! Could it be that in this celebration and blessing of a marriage we are doing our best to model, to teach society by our example to look with God’s eyes, proclaiming no one, no community, no part of God’s beloved creation is ugly or uncleanAnd that calls for another "AMEN!"
I had a press inquiry last night about the wedding asking:
Would you tell me, is this the “first lesbian marriage” conducted in the Episcopal Church, or the first in the Diocese of Massachusetts? Have others taken place? Also, would you comment (on or off the record) on the significance of this ceremony?My comment is as follows:
My first comment is on the terminology "lesbian marriage." I believe the values that make up a marriage transcend the sexual orientation of the partners who vow to love, honor and cherish each other until death do they part. My partner and I don't pay lesbian taxes, take out lesbian trash, make a lesbian tithe to our church or fold lesbian laundry. Marriage is marriage. Period.
But if your question is whether or not this is the first marriage between two women in either the Episcopal Church or the Diocese of Massachusetts the answer is an unequivocal "Of course not." Marriage equality is an increasing reality in this country and in this church and the significance of Saturday's wedding is in offering yet-another icon to the church, the communion and the world of the affirmation of the Good News of God's inclusive love made available to all. It is an opportunity for both celebration and evangelism.
It is also an historic step forward for the Diocese of Massachusetts -- as noted in the EDS press release -- as it was the first such wedding officiated by Bishop Shaw. And that is good news ... not just for Katherine and Mally and all who gathered to wish them happily-ever-after on January 1st ... it's good news for the diocese and for the church as we all work together to move beyond the "inclusion wars" and forward into God's future of love, justice and compassion.