As everyone in the world surely knows by now, Bill and I made our relationship legally binding this weekend. To be perfectly honest, we did it mostly because, someday, I need to be covered by his Social Security and Medicaid. After all these years, we had taken all the other necessary legal precautions, and both of our daughters are now over 21. We decided to invite the church to come to a party as an excuse to celebrate with people in Atlanta that we have come to love, and, well, it got a little out of hand …
Family and friends started talking about flying in, and we had to discourage that without seeming ungrateful. Oh, we would love to see all of them, but we already had gotten married. For three-and-a-half decades as an activist, I had insisted that NO ONE could stop lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from getting married, and Bill and I are proof. ALL the government EVER could do was discriminate against us. Finally, in June, a slim majority of the Supreme Court finally got around to agreeing with me.
So, we had a short service on Saturday evening; Rev. Jim Mitulski signed our marriage license; the incomparable Marvin Matthews serenaded us; and we had a party with lots of sparkling wine in the fellowship hall of a former Baptist church. (I think that was the part I loved the most!)
During the reception, I chatted with Miss Blanche, the matriarch of our church, who has been a member for almost of every one of the church’s 92 years. I asked her if she ever thought she would see her pastor marry another man. In her wonderful genteel Southern way, she said, “Honey, I’ve seen a lot of things I never imagined, and this is one of the best.”
Having a 90-plus, Southern, formerly Baptist woman party into the night because her gay pastor made his 35-year marriage to his husband legal just may be the perfect symbol that, indeed, all things are possible. I love Miss Blanche and the God who is still speaking to, and through, people like her.
Rev. Michael Piazza