Good news -- Mayor Fenty will sign the legislation which allows same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia tomorrow. From there, it must survive thirty legislative days in Congress before coming law. I'm hopeful, though all it would really offer Jonathan and me is the dignity of the title of marriage, and the opportunity to have our marriage recognized in a few other states.
The bad news? It will be signed at All Souls Church, Unitarian. To recap, I'm
- a resident of the District of Columbia
- a Unitarian Universalist minister
- a gay man in a domestic partnership, who will benefit from this act
In short, I care about this legislation and I care about the symbolism.
This act is fundamentally about civil marriage. Yes, religious professionals have rallied on both sides, but where so-called religious liberties have been touched, it has been to protect anti-gay forces. It's no secret this was the politic way to get this passed. But it's precisely by conflating religious and civil marriage that gays lose in the public sphere.
Signing the act in a church -- any church -- is counter-productive and a confusion of symbols.