Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A postscriptum to the Del and Phyllis post and Mary Hunt's 2004 essay on marriage

I had this in as a Tuesday P.S. to my Monday post for about an hour, but it was getting so long I decided to give it a post of its own.

(1) The San Jose Mercury News weighs in.

(2) A triple P.S. from me:

(a) Furthermore, how does the love of these two lesbian women in any way diminish me or my relationships and commitments as a straight woman? In no way -- on the contrary. I can say without hesitation that my lesbian and gay friends have taught me to love --and have loved me-- as well as my heterosexual friends, and sometimes better.

(b) I see the point that the San Jose Mercury News is making, and I applaud its editorial for both its sentiment and its strategy. I also want to say that marriage isn't for everyone, and that not everyone makes a choice for monogamy. Also, coupledom sometimes just doesn't happen. I agree with my friend the theologian
Mary E. Hunt that the standard for relationships should be friendship. All of us, whatever our chosen or accidental circumstances, single or coupled, can fit into and live up to that one.

One of the admirable things about Phyllis and Del is that they have been friends to each other and a devoted couple for so long -- and that they have been friends to many: their couple relationship has had a public, civic dimension. Which if, of course, part of what marriage is about.

Del and Phyllis, may you live out the rest of your days in joy, peace, and love. Thank you for inspiring so many of us. Also, you are beautiful!

(c) Mary Hunt has a thoughtful essay on marriage (occasioned by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon's wedding ceremony at San Francisco City Hall in 2004) here. I recommend it highly. It asks some of the questions we all need to be asking and that go far beyond "should lesbian and gay people marry?"

...the role of theologians, and especially of feminist theologians, is to ask critical questions so that we generate thoughtful conversation to help shape what is emerging.

My view is that marriage ought to be available to any adult who wants to marry, but that marriage is not necessarily the best way to organize a society to optimize the common good. There are legal, religious and political issues at hand. I raise them here to start that conversation
. ...

Read the whole essay.

3 comments:

Chris T. said...

One of the admirable things about Phyllis and Del is that they have been friends to each other and a devoted couple for so long -- and that they have been friends to many: their couple relationship has had a public, civic dimension. Which if, of course, part of what marriage is about.

Amen! Far from weakening marriage for straight people, there's something to be said for the idea that same-sex marriage will revitalize and provide a positive example for those in opposite-sex marriages!

From a religious perspective, it has always been a source of inspiration to me that practically all of the Christian same-sex couples I know have made the Eucharist a central part of their wedding ceremonies. A lot of them come from traditions where that is rare (my own Lutheran tradition, for instance) or becoming less common (the Roman church). That is very powerful for me — and for the record, our wedding did not include the Eucharist.

johnieb said...

The Mercury News link didn't work for me, Jane.

Until this week, I never imagined they were still alive; how wonderful that they have seen this day.

johnieb said...

Hunt speaks my mind.