Op-ed: How I Married 110 Same-Sex Couples

One secular celebrant's path to marrying more than 100 same-sex couples in New Mexico.

BY Marilee Harrison

September 17 2013 5:05 AM ET


Oh, wait. I do understand, because I used to believe this kind of partnering was sinful — a bad choice. Until I met wonderful people in whose presence I could no longer hold those views. My questions, which I seemed to exit the womb mouthing, then became more about how an ethical person or a loving god could harbor such bigotry. Belief crumbled under the weight of discrepancies and observation. Values and ethics rooted in the greater good of humans took its place. In other words, humanism. I am a humanist celebrant because I care about humans. Pretty simple.

Perhaps serving as a secular officiant is a chance for restitution, in a way. An apology for the way I used to judge, as I was raised to do by loving parents and a nurturing community. The same upbringing that propelled a brother into ministry where prayers are said in order to bring about impossible and unnecessary change, all the while claiming love, ultimately propelled me in a different direction. It’s about the possibility of providing options to those who have been denied the simple human dignity of partnering with the recognition and approval others take for granted.

 

MARILEE HARRISON is a humanist celebrant who lives in Santa Fe, N.M. She is available to officiate weddings and memorial services. Follow her @MarileeHa or Facebook.com/CelebrantMarilee

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