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Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Goodridge as ceremony reading at non-same sex wedding?

So FI and are are looking for unique readings for our ceremony, and one of the readings that we're considering is an excerpt from Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage.  We live in Massachusetts, I'm a lawyer and total law nerd, and we really like the reading so overall we feel like it's a really good fit for us.  We also feel that it would be be a subtle statement for marriage equality without being too in-your-face for our guests--the reading never explicitly mentions "gay" marriage, and people who aren't particularly familiar with the marriage equality movement probably won't even pick up on where the reading is from.  

However, I have two potential concerns about using the reading.  First, I am worried that it is too nerdy/lawyerly, even for me.  Second and potentially more serious, we have several close friends and family members who are in same-sex relationships that will be in attendance, one of whom we will likely be asking to do a reading (not necessarily Goodridge, although we may give her that option).  I worry that they may feel that we are co-opting something from a movement that isn't really ours, if that makes sense.  Even if we're using the reading with the best of intentions, I would hate to inadvertently offend them or make them feel uncomfortable.

Anyway, the reading is below.  What say you, knotties?

"Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations....Without question, civil marriage enhances the "welfare of the community." It is a "social institution of the highest importance." 

Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family.... Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life's momentous acts of self-definition."
jenijoyk

Re: Goodridge as ceremony reading at non-same sex wedding?

  • My friend, a lawyer, and his now wife, an actress, recently had this as their reading at their civil ceremony in a park in Philly. It fit them perfectly. So, I don't think this has to be specifcally for same-sex marriages.
    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
    jenijoyksimcal18
  • jenijoykjenijoyk member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    edited December 2014

    I totally did this in my wedding in October! I used Goodridge and Perry. I'm a lawyer, but my husband is not, but for us, we both loved it because it's something important to us, we aren't sappy and didn't want our readings to be. We struggled with how to introduce them, but ended up going with the below. I will say, after the officiant said, "In Perry v. Brown, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote..." there was a lot of laughter from the audience, which naturally included a lot of lawyers. But our whole ceremony was pretty lighthearted so I loved it. ;)

    I don't think you should think of it as co-opting something that isn't yours to co-opt. It's a beautiful description of what civil marriage means to the whole of society. The whole point the court is making is that this is what marriage means, to everyone.

     

    From our ceremony script:

    In Perry v. Brown, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote, “Marriage is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults… The word marriage is singular in connoting a harmony in living, a bilateral loyalty, and a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred… It is the designation of marriage itself that expresses validation, by the state and the community, and that serves as a symbol… of something profoundly important.”

    Civil marriage has been described by another court as “a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family… Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.”

    simcal18
  • I'm also a lawyer and I love love LOVE this idea! We're not particularly religious, so I don't want a biblical reading, and I also don't want anything too sappy. Now if I could just convince my FI that we should do this at OUR ceremony....

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    simcal18
  • Go for it!  This is certainly important and holds personal significance, so I find it completely appropriate. 
    simcal18
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    That's a lovely reading.
    simcal18
  • VulgarGirlVulgarGirl Desert Oasis member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary Name Dropper
    I'm a lesbian (not a lawyer...wife is a lawyer turn mediator...so lawyer adjacent) I wouldn't be even kind of offended if this reading were done at a straight wedding.

    It's not gay vs straight. It's non-assholes vs assholes. The assholes being those who believe gay people somehow deserve less rights because of our sexual orientation. The non-assholes being those who think that's bullshit, regardless of their own sexual orientation.
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    artbyalliemlg78jenijoyk
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