Commentary

A gay dad sounds off on Christians debating whether to attend a friend’s same-sex wedding

Emma Foulkes, left, and Petrina Bloodworth hold hands and show their wedding rings after being married at the Fulton County Courthouse Friday, June 26, 2015, in Atlanta.
Emma Foulkes, left, and Petrina Bloodworth hold hands and show their wedding rings after being married at the Fulton County Courthouse Friday, June 26, 2015, in Atlanta. John Bazemore, AP

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Dear Mr. Orme,

Recently, you wrote a question to your Christian community asking individuals whether or not they would attend a friend’s “gay wedding.”  In answering your own question, you state that you would attend. You say “I believe I could attend a gay friend’s wedding without explicitly endorsing the union… It is not to endorse a lifestyle but to love a person in hopes of seeing him or her become a disciple of Jesus. Would this tarnish my reputation? It might, but it’s a decision, I believe, I could make in clear conscience with the Spirit.”

No, Mr. Orme, you would not be tarnished. Upon receiving such an invitation, you should be honored.  The couple that invited you did not do so for you to teach anything. They invited you so you could learn about, appreciate and revere the deep and abiding commitment that they feel for each other. They’re inviting you to come experience how they promise to be by each other’s side for life, to help each other grow more deeply than they ever thought possible. They are inviting you to come witness that they would die on the other’s behalf.

With what they are giving to you, if you can only think about yourself, I , if I were in control, would have you just stay home.

You see, the real question that should be asked is: “Should They Invite a Homophobic Judgmental Christian to Their Same Sex Wedding?”

If it were up to me, I would say “no” for all the couples I have married. These couples were stellar, beautiful, vulnerable, strong and inspiring. I would not want your arrogance to blot their light and love in any way.

But. here’s the thing. They, to a couple, would have invited you, even with your superior attitude, and would welcome you with open arms. In their hearts, they would hope that by witnessing their love, your own heart would open up. They would even be willing for that not to happen, just on the off chance that it might.

You see, in that moment of love and joy, they would be better vessels of Christ love than I am.

They are certainly better representatives of love than you are.

One of my fellow gay dads shared this with me.  Brian Copeland reported, “I invited a woman who was anti-marriage equality to our 2008 wedding. She came because she loves me.  When she returned to her work the following Monday, she told her co-workers about the wedding. She was subjected to the most horrible judgment. They condemned her, and treated her like crap. That completely opened her eyes to how she and others had made me feel throughout the years. From that day she was a changed person, asserting to everyone who would listen ‘You weren’t there to see the love like I was. All I know is that God and love were both in that wedding, and that cannot be wrong.’ She took more away from our wedding than anyone.”

So, if you get that invitation, be grateful that they did not ask MY question, or answer it with MY answer. Most certainly, YOUR question should not even cross your mind. Just check “yes” and notify your “plus one.”

Then go and listen. Go and let the feeling wash over your heart. At some point in that ceremony, God will reach you and have you understand what loving your brother really is all about, that it is not for the couple being married at all.  It is for you.

In that moment you will not be humbled or bold.

You will be blessed.

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