Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wedding reading - If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.

Now and again someone comes up with a wedding reading that's really unusual but strangely moving and appropriate. At a recent ceremony the couple's friend surprised them with this passage from Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without A Country:

"And now I want to tell you about my late Uncle Alex. He was my father’s kid brother, a childless graduate of Harvard who was an honest life insurance salesman in Indianapolis. He was well-read and wise. And his principal complaint about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is. So I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is."

I can't think of better words of encouragement for married life. Often when we're putting the ceremony together couples like to mention that they're determined to help each other through life's struggles. But what about the happy times? I think it's just as important to promise not to take these for granted.

Happy news!

I was so thrilled when it was announced last week that the Same Sex Marriage Bill will be introduced in Scotland. The reality of this means Humanist Celebrants and religious officiants who want to participate could be marrying gay and lesbian couples by 2015. Although the Scottish Government intend to include an opt out clause for religions who don't want to conduct marriages for everybody there is little 'live and let live' coming from the religious right.

This article from The Guardian goes a long way to explain the results of the consultation and demonstrates how poorly received the Catholic Church's campaign was amongst their own flock.

The infographic below shows what will really happen when gay people get married.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

When a man loves a man and a woman loves a woman...

If you've been supporting the Equal Marriage campaign you'll have shared my disappointment this week. It was widely expected that the Scottish Government would announce its intention to introduce the Same Sex Marriage Bill this week. The most exciting part of this was that we'd finally know the timescale of their plans, or in layman's terms, when the first gay marriage in Scotland might happen.

There's been much negative and positive speculation as to why we are facing a delay in the Scottish Government's decision but many hope that they're simply trying to figure out a way for Humanists and  some religious groups to be able to conduct same sex marriages whilst allowing some churches to opt out. This article in The Scotsman pretty much sums up how I feel.

You've maybe come to my blog for some inspiration for your wedding ceremony or to find out more about Humanist weddings. I would really appreciate if you could take a moment to support the Equal marriage campaign. You can 'like' them on facebook, follow them on twitter and sign their petition.

Yes, same sex couples can have Civil Partnerships but these don't take into account their beliefs and allow them the same freedom of expression that your wedding can offer you. This isn't just a campaign to support same sex couples who are Humanists, it's about Christian, Jewish and couples of many other belief systems and denominations too.

If you want to know the essence of what this campaign is about please watch this video I posted some time ago, which was made for the Irish campaign.

For my own part I don't think opening up marriage to same sex couples makes marriage less meaningful - it makes its meaning complete.