To my delight, we are having two weddings this year of NLMCC couples. We do not know if we will be able to perform legal marriages in the church building until the United Reformed Church (who host us and several MCC congregations in the UK) have formalised their stance on equal marriage later this year. However, we will continue to offer a church service to same sex couples who wish to formally and publicly affirm their love and commitment to each other before God. It is a real privilege to guide couples towards what will be one of the most important days of their life. Each ceremony is unique and it is wonderful to hear how people met and fell in love. Getting married is not a simple gesture, but it is a ritual that is taken for granted by the majority of the population. Most people are brought up expecting that they will marry one day. Until recently, if they came out as LGBT, the prospect of marriage, and certainly any kind of legal recognition of their relationship seemed almost impossible.
The giving and receiving of a ring, even kissing publicly in front of family and friends are gestures which may be quite commonplace for many people and yet assume added significance for our community, because we have fought so hard for so long to be able to do these things. We are fortunate in this country that we have these rights and possibilities. Most same sex couples do not see themselves as pioneers or activists when they come to see me about getting married. However, each time the wedding invitations go out, one more brick in the wall of prejudice and ignorance is knocked to the ground. Another group of family and friends gather to publicly show their support for all that is good and whole about love and commitment, regardless of the gender of those making their vows. Small gestures can change the world.