Remarks given on the Capital Steps in Lansing on 05/26/09

Posted by Bushel Basket in , , , ,

The following is a transcript of the remarks a dear friend of mine gave on the steps of the Michigan Capital building at a pro gay marriage protest on May 26th of this year. This protest was a response to the California Supreme Court's upholding of Proposition 8. She says it better than I ever could.

My name is Nicolette Lee Calcagno-Siragusa, and yesterday I celebrated the first anniversary of my wedding to the most wonderful woman in the world.

I should clarify – you see we have a domestic partnership in Cook County, Illinois, where we lived before moving here. We entered into that on October 1st 2005 in the Cook County Clerk’s office – very romantic. No rights, no responsibilities – just a certificate & a public record.

Then, on December 28th, 2007 we entered into a Civil Union in New Jersey, where we met and grew up, in the living room of her parents’ home presided over by the mayor. A simple event – an exchange of rings and vows in front of the fireplace.

And then came one year ago yesterday. In the sanctuary of the church where I had served as an intern, presided over by my friend and mentor. We had flowers, and music, and in the presence of our family, our friends, our church, and our God had a “proper” wedding, complete with the breaking of bread during the sacrament of Holy Communion, and the breaking of bread during a fun and festive reception.

For those of you keeping track:
Domestic Partners in Cook County, Illinois,
Civilly United in New Jersey
Married in the eyes of our friends, our family, and our church
And yet considered single by the state of Michigan!

As a member of clergy, I am told that the state respects my ecclesial authority to join two people in marriage – as long as they get to pick the two. I am a firm believer in the separation of Church and State, and it is simply wrong to use the beliefs of a church as justification for refusing same-sex couples the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage on one hand, while on the other hand deny churches and clergy who see unequal treatment as injustice the ability to marry those couples.

I am a member of the United Church of Christ who at their General Synod in 2005 resolved to affirm equal marriage rights for couples regardless of gender, stating that the government should not interfere with couples regardless of gender who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitment of legally recognized marriage.

I believe in the life and example of Jesus of Nazareth who demonstrated radical inclusivity and abundant welcome. I believe in a biblical tradition that affirms and celebrates human expressions of love and partnership. I believe in a God who is still speaking, and that there is always more light and truth to be revealed.

There are those who would tell us that we are not worthy of marriage. That our families are not as beautiful, that our love is not as strong, that our commitment is not as deep.

But they have not seen how we care for our ailing parents, have not heard us sing lullabies to our children, have not seen us support one another through trials and adversities, have not witnessed the struggles we go through simply to keep our families together.

But the time is coming. A new generation is at hand who has seen, who has witnessed, and who understands.

So I tell you – do not lose hope, do not lose faith. May you always remember that you are God’s beloved children. May the Holy One encourage you in times of struggle and disappointment. And may God strengthen you as you walk on the path of love and justice, for though it is long and winding, I know we do not walk alone.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at Wednesday, May 27, 2009 and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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