by Brian Clarey
I was fortunate enough to attend the very first gay weeding recognized by the state of North Carolina in Guilford County last week. It was a fairly modest affair, held on the fly in the office of the register of deeds between two old partners, Frank and Brad, who have been together almost 20 years.
The gay wedding bells have just begun ringing in this state, and already I’ve heard tell of plans for lavish ceremonies with signature cocktails and four-star food.
But a gay wedding needn’t be over the top in order to be fabulous. I wouldn’t mind seeing a couple of ladies get hitched in a barn, for example, or a backyard affair with former “roommates and traveling companions” finally surrendering their bachelorhood in front of a select group of friends and family, or a traditional church ceremony with a picnic-table banquet on the grounds afterwards.
It’s all possible, ironically, because of the amendment meant to ban gay weddings forever in this state, which when it was nullified gave weddings like these equal standing in NC, whereas before we just had civil ceremonies not recognized by the state.
It’s worth mentioning that LGBT rights have been part of the purpose of this newspaper since the first day, enshrined in our mission statement and exemplified by our unwavering stance on equality.
Though I’ve just been to the single one, I already love gay weddings just as much as I love all weddings. There’s something about seeing two people with that deep connection, declaring their eternal love for each other in front of everyone they care about. It’s a beautiful moment, every time.
In fact, there’s not much difference between gay weddings and hetero weddings at all. Perhaps when the novelty of this thing wears off, we can just start calling them all “weddings.”