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."