Concluding the equal marriage theme for the last week here are two final stories from two girls I know who’ve a strong Christian faith, who are waiting until they can get married to each other, together, with everyone and everything that they love being a part of that ceremony….
“Growing up I never thought I’d get married. I had no interest. I didn’t want the white dress, the fancy reception and a handsome man waiting at the church. So nothing’s changed but after meeting a woman who I plan to be with for life it got me thinking about our future.
I don’t know much about the differences between the rights of civil partnership and marriage and to be honest that’s not what is important to me personally for me its about being valued. My partner has been involved in the church her whole life and I have been involved since my early teens so church and faith means a lot to both of us. So I want the option to get married in my church, surrounded my family and friends like millions of couples have done before. Not to be given a option for ‘almost marriage’ or to be made to feel that my relationship is not valuable, worthy or pure enough for holy matrimony.”
“Many people think that civil partnership and marriage is just about a commitment between two people. When I go to friends’ and family’s weddings, what to me makes it special is the element of community getting behind a couple and saying “we are for you”. To me this is a really sacred part of the day – because the reality is that the actual commitment between the couple happened a long time ago – months, even years (in our case) before the couple utter the words “I do”.
Because God has been a big part of both our lives, we want to include this element aswell. God is the reason we met, so why couldn’t God be included in our wedding also? This is the main reason why civil partnership to me is not enough. A civil partnership itself cannot happen in a church (a blessing, perhaps, but not a partnership – this must be done in an official government building). Not only this, God cannot be mentioned. Straight away, that just doesn’t make sense for me. To me the government has nothing to do with my partner and I being together, and God has everything to do with it – God is the reason we are together.
I feel that the concept of civil partnership is quite cold and law-based. It seems to be about laws, rights, responsibilities, tax and pensions. The ceremony must be conducted by a government official – a stranger, who has no connection with the couple. What I am used to is a close friend or mentor from church sharing the moment with the couple. Marriage to me seems more personal, more warm, and again more community focused.
Some people wonder why we don’t go ahead and get a civil partnership, until full marriage comes through. To be honest I don’t see the point! The day itself would be tarnished by the knowledge that some day we will get married, but “this will just have to do for now”. There’s no need for us to rush into something that feels spritual-less, second class and as if we’re settling.”