I did my first ceremony as a same sex wedding officiant in 1999. Of course, we could not call it that back then; we called it a commitment ceremony. But for all intents and purposes, I called all of them weddings. Because that’s what they were.
Here is a video that tells the story of that first event (or read the story below):
My first gay wedding
It was 1999, and I felt nervous because one partner’s parents, living in different states, were flying in to support their son. The other groom’s family lived down the street, had refused to attend, and might crash. I was feeling protective.
The script included a flower ceremony. Beside me was a large crystal vase with flower stalks lying beside it. I invited everyone to add a flower to the vase and share thoughts with the couple. No pressure – the grooms were clear that no one be made uncomfortable.
Friends came forward and spoke with depth and passion. Then, the father who was there stepped up. With a flower in his hand, he hugged his son and said the words he had not been able to say before now.
You see, even though he was present, he had not yet been able to fully accept his son marrying another man. But now, the magic of this day got through. His words were loving, full of acceptance and support. And the tears flowing down his face added weight.
It was a wonderful and deeply affecting moment. The next morning, my thinking was clear.
For a legal wedding, there are many agendas. A baby on the way, family pressure, church pressure, tax reasons – or even a Green Card!
For a gay wedding in 1999, none of these applied. These two men just wanted to be witnessed making their commitments. So pure, so simple — I love assisting with same-sex ceremonies — whatever people want to call these ceremonies.
Personally, I have always called them weddings!
I think you can tell from this how much I love to officiate wedding ceremonies for lesbian weddings and gay weddings. They are always a treat!