I am honored to introduce four new and dear friends of mine who came to Rhode Island to join together in their same sex weddings.
This summer, Mary Catherine connected with me because I am a R.I. Officiant and she had met me at Winny and Jimmy’s wedding years ago when I first began performing ceremonies. Esmeralda who is Mary Catharine’s mother has been a life partner of Julia’s for over 14 years and they were ready to take the next step in their relationship and get married! The only things was that they live in Texas and the Lonestar state only allows heterosexual marriages to be legalized and do not recognize gay weddings. In August, they arrived in R.I. and I performed their ceremony overlooking our state capital, Providence, from Prospect Terrace Park. From there, we and their guests celebrated at Waterfire and Hemenways restaurant.
Two months later after some planning, phone calls & emails, I met their friends Randy and Joe, also from Dallas, and I am honored to say that I officiated their ceremony in Pawtuxet Village, Warwick overlooking the water. There were some neighbors of the village having a picnic while the ceremony was occurring who clapped joyfully once the pronouncement was made and the kiss exchanged. The mom and her son who looked to be about 10 came over to congratulate Joe and Randy. She was so happy for them and in her foreign accent, acknowledged how wonderful it is that they can be married. Her son then innocently said, while holding the leash on their dog, “When I was 6, I wanted to marry my best friend who is a boy because I love him so much”. My heart opened to the simplicity of what the child said and felt gratitude for the gay union that I had just officiated. Joe and Randy invited me to dine with them at Ruth Chris’ in Providence where the waitress gifted them with champagne, and dessert to celebrate their day. They both said that they could not believe how welcoming and lovingly kind Rhode Island had been to them as they took this step in their lives.
It is such an honor for me to unite Julia & Esmeralda, Joe and Randy, and all couples equally. I am thankful that our God loves and blesses us all equally regardless of any personal characteristic that defines us in human standards. We all have a heart, we have a spirit and our love for another, allows God to be made real. God is Love. Love is God. When a couple can be honored spiritually it is a blessing, but when a Civil state or government honors their relationship, then it becomes a recognition and awareness that what they share is grounded in a new reality. It is respected and from a public standpoint, they are backed. There is a solid support that provides them with benefits not only on paper, but holistically shared.
As a R.I. Officiant and Citizen, I am so proud of my state, Rhode Island, and states like it. I have been here my whole life and I come from a healthy line of state game-changers. I am a cousin of Nathanael Greene and Roger Williams lives in my lineage as well. This state was founded to allow religious freedom for those who felt unable to practice religiously as they desired. The first churches of many denominations are founded here. This state as well as our country have powerful and spiritual ideals at their heart and it is our responsibility to uncover them and apply them to how we live life today in 2013. Thank you Rhode Island for applying your understanding, spirit and law to all of those who wish to unite in legal matrimony and thank you to my four new friends for making this come alive for me.