|Jeff and Chris say their "I do's."|
The wedding had several unique things going for it. For one, the setting: groom and groom stood said their vows outdoors, within the wolf and elk habitat of Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo as their backdrop. Seeing big-tusked elk meandering about behind Jeff and Chris and the minister was a bit surreal, but somehow fitting: the wildlife setting complemented what was a very natural joining together of two people in love, committed to the other. When the ceremony paused for the classical quartet to play a lovely rendition of "Ave Maria", it seemed the wolf pack to the right of the ceremony actually paused to listen. They had been restless before and, honest to God, they all quieted and became still as the music floated out on the summer night air.
I wanted to list a bunch of other things that made this wedding unique, but you know what? I can't think of another one. And that's a good thing.
Two weeks ago, Bruce and I went to the wedding of his niece in Minnesota to her groom and the thing that struck me about these two weddings--one gay and one straight--was not their differences, but their similarities.
|Jeff's nieces were the flower girls|
After the wedding, we headed inside for dinner, where a Grizzly bear, not three feet away in his sanctuary, watched from behind a glass wall (a heavy glass wall). We then all moved to another building for dessert and dancing (cupcakes replaced a wedding cake at this reception, which I thought was a nifty idea, one I filed away to steal later for Bruce and me, when our day comes).
At the reception, the same feeling persisted: the atmosphere of love and commitment, strong enough to be like a scent in the air.
I said to Bruce, "You know, if some of those people who opposed gay marriage could be here tonight and see all these people--friends, family, wedding party--coming together with such happiness and deep love, I think they might see this day as not something to be opposed, or hated, or feared, but exactly what it is: two people who love one another and want to make a lifelong commitment to the other and have that promise witnessed by the people they hold dear."
Because marriage--gay, straight--is really just about that: love. And it's not about what's between our legs, but what's between our ears...and in our hearts.
Love is love. Why on earth, or in God's name, would anyone want to deny that to their fellow man or woman? We can only be strengthened, as families, as a society, by encouraging and celebrating love and commitment.