Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Family Values

I’ve been meaning to write about my good friends Emily and Noreen, who were married in California last fall after a long, committed partnership that demanded the kind of love and loyalty that most of us can only imagine. It was a double wedding, actually. Noreen’s sister Monique and her partner Jackie were married in the same ceremony, both couples attended by Mo and Jackie’s kids, the fabulous Bella (mentioned here before), her equally fabulous brother, Sammy. It was a small, informal ceremony, held on a weekday morning, in a public garden. Just family—and this is one of the closest, most loving families I know.

Anyway. When I opened the Indianapolis Star this morning, turned to page two, and saw this headline, “Gay Families invited to White House egg roll,” it made me extremely happy. I thought, excellent! I'd much rather write about my friends in response to story like this one, as opposed to one of the way too many stories about gay life that are full of hatred and mistruths.

In February, I flew out to California to attend the wedding dinner that Em and Nor threw for themselves, a really lovely affair at a local restaurant attended by a few dozen family members and friends. At every place setting there was a wedding photo, a rose, and a little box of red and pink M&M’s printed with the wedding date. There were tears and laughter, heartfelt toasts—and, of course, loads of funny stories about the happy couple’s ups and downs over the years. There was even a test over the facts of their lives—the one Bella and I cheated on and still didn’t win.

Afterwards, I lay in the guest room of their cozy home, wondering how many people who oppose gay marriage have actually met any gay people who are married and what they might think if they could open their minds and hearts, put all preconceived thoughts about this issue (at least temporarily) on hold, and spend a few hours with Emily and Noreen and their extended family. What they’d see is—just plain love.

So what I’m thinking is—wouldn’t it be cool if, rolling Easter eggs, a straight dead-set-against-gay-marriage family met a gay family like Em and Nor’s and…thought?

It could happen.

Bravo, President Obama. Whether or not you purposely made this first significant gesture to the gay community at Easter or not, it’s perfect.

I mean, WWJD?


He loved and accepted—no, embraced—everyone.

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