It's raining rainbows
Monday last week marked six years since the Marriage Amendment Act came into effect, legalizing same sex marriage in New Zealand. And just like that, it started raining rainbows. Literally, my newsfeed was full of rainbow posts, rainbow logos and #loveislove hashtags. In the, at-times distorted, wee world of social media it seemed like every wedding vendor was onboard except me.
So why didn’t I join in?
Let me start by being painstakingly clear that I am absolutely, definitely, wholeheartedly behind marriage in all its beautiful forms. And yes, I say that as a celebrant who has married, with genuine love and enthusiasm, all possible combinations of couples. Because that’s my job. And doing this job - marrying two people in love - is so normal for me that I don’t consider supposed variations within it as a thing.
In the interests of full disclosure and just so you know, I’ll point out here that independent celebrants, like me, aren’t allowed to turn away clients based on their sexual orientation. Part of the deal when you apply to become an independent celebrant is agreeing to perform marriage ceremonies for all couples regardless of their gender. But even if that wasn’t the case, I would still do what I consider is my work as a celebrant - to marry people with love and laughter. To put it another way, my feelings on this issue aren’t shaped by what my big celebrant “boss” (aka the Registrar-General) says down in Wellington.
Hand on heart, I just love what I do. I believe in the services I offer and the difference my contribution can make in the lives of others. Without downplaying the beauty of same sex marriage or the importance of marriage equality, part of my purpose as a celebrant is to normalize marriage for two people who are in love. And here’s the absolutely crucial bit. I also believe that the way to normalize something is to avoid drawing attention to what some people thought made it different in the first place. Frankly, who cares if a marriage is same sex? Certainly not me (in fact, do we even have to keep calling it that?).
So then, what do I care about? Working with couples who are crazy about each other. Couples who have a beautiful energy and a magical dynamic, whatever that looks like. Couples who want to lock their awesomeness in for life.
And what do I find completely, utterly and totally irrelevant? A person’s packaging. Whether you two are male or female, round or square, shiny or smooth, larger than life or small and sweet… come at me. Show me what matters most – how you really feel about each other – and let’s celebrate that.