Sunday, December 17, 2006

Gay Marriage

I'm glad parliament recently voted not to reopen the rights of homosexuals to marry... hopefully now Stephen Harper can keep his personal beliefs out of the bedrooms of the nation. I have been asked whether we here at Wolfe Island Aboriginal Interfaith Church perform gay marriages - and the answer is "Always have and always will." To conform with the new law a lot of church leaders have been told that it is up to their personal comfort level as to whether they will perform gay marriages or not... as long as someone in a particular gay-positive denomination does it, so the church isn't sued. Of course, there are always some faith groups that will never perform gay marriage, and that is their choice, but if forces adherents to find another clergy of a different faith, or have a civil service performed.

One of my first weddings was indeed a union for two women, although in those days it could only be considered a "Commitment Ceremony". Had they approached me after the laws changed, we wouldn't have had to perform the public ceremony all over again, because the witnesses would affirm that this couple did indeed wed on a New Year's Eve back in '94. It was in a lesbian club in Kitchener - everyone there seemed to have a wonderful experience.

So why do I embrace gay marriage? Simple - I have a humanist approach to the concept of legal rights to marry. Marriage is a commitment between two people, no matter what their gender or sexual preference. Historically native people have always embraced the "twin spirited" people in their community. Being an interfaith minister I will always support this perspective on marriage. Where I draw the line is around marriage for people in the BDSM community who insist on having the marriage done in harnesses and garb that suggests one partner is submitting - I will only marry people who approach the process as equals. That's my comfort level. Come to me as equals, and I'm happy to do the ceremony.

It's fun to talk about art shows one day, illness the next, politics a third day and nonsense on the 4th - freedom of speech. Ain't blogs grand???

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