Monday, February 02, 2009

Suddenly a big frog in a small pond...

What an interesting few days it's been! On Saturday morning I walked down to the newspaper box near my mailbox to pick up the Seattle Times and Post-Intelligencer papers, plus the local South Whidbey Record. I'd been interviewed and photographed on Thursday by their reporter and he'd guessed that the story would be printed on Saturday.

I opened the SWR and was astounded to find the Proposal 2009 story taking up about a third of the front page, with my grinning visage prominently displayed. I didn't expect to be front page news; I thought we would be discreetly placed more toward the middle. But there I was, standing in front of our new building grinning like a possum eating bumblebees.

Saturday morning is a time I look forward to because I like to head over to a local cafe and have breakfast. I walked into the cafe and the server/cook said immediately, "say, you're all over the front page of the paper this morning, aren't you? I think it's great what you're doing!"

The day kind of went like that, with one person or another mentioning the article and photo, all positively. Sunday morning the article was placed prominently on a bulletin board and again more mention.

Sunday night I attended a retirement reception for the former director of the Whidbey Institute and every other person seemed to be saying "hey, here's our local celebrity, we think it's great what you're doing". And one lesbian couple made arrangements to meet later to discuss their wedding and set a date.

No negative responses at all so far, though surely somebody must disagree with this! Even the guys in my lectionary study group were supportive, though they might not do it themselves, they approved of my doing it.

And this morning, our administrator let me know that she had received a phone message from a local merchant saying that he plans to give 20% off on wedding cakes to gay couples who decide to tie the knot. Is that cool or what?

I'm wondering what would happen to the resistance to marriage equality if all of us clergy who can do so worked with same sex couples to flood the country with the joy of weddings. Imagine if the newspapers were full of joyful families and couples celebrating their marriages regardless of whether or not they were "legal". Could anyone withstand all that joy?

See, I've always thought that Joy was going to be the deciding factor. Joy and Love...and Justice.


Lizard Eater said...

This is so exciting to me and I'm following along with bated breath.

You've unleashed joy into the world!

ms. kitty said...

Gosh, I sincerely hope so, LE! Thanks.

ms. kitty said...

PS. I would love it if other UU ministers would do something similar. This is just one corner of the world----surely there are other parts of the US where ministers could have a similar effect.

The Favorite Son said...

I'm very proud of you.
But to play Devil's Advocate a bit, is it truly fair for other businesses to be offering a cut-rate on services based on the gender of their clientele? As far as your church/fellowship goes, the BoD approved your wonderful amendment, but what about straight couples that would love a beautiful church wedding, but can't afford it? I know your church would work with anyone who wanted to celebrate their union of love, but for a for-profit business to offer a cut price on services based on gender, could be construed as reverse discrimination, which IMHO is as damaging to the idea of equality as Hate Prop. 8 (and the violence by the radical fringe of the pro-equality movement. {Ok, maybe not, but isn't the idea equality for all, regardless of race, creed, color, consensual sex preference, pet-choice, menu-choice, metal vs. plastic slinky choice?})

P.S. This post may be influenced by the fact that I spent today watching my Philosophy professor lecture about Vicious Logical Redress with a pasta strainer on his head. The VLR influencing more than the pasta strainer.

laura said...

Oh WOW!!! This is SO TERRIFIC!!!

YAY MS KITTY!!!! :::cheering:::

Earthbound Spirit said...

I happen to be preaching on 2/15 - the day after Valentine's day - on Love and Justice. Can I mention your Prop. 2009? Caveat - it's an intergenerational service so there will be lots of kid stuff, but parts for adults too.

ms. kitty said...

I see what you're saying, FS, and it's a legitimate question. I think if it were the government, my answer would be clear. The fact that it's an openly gay man who is the bakery owner makes it understandable to me, if not totally "fair".

That said, it's an interesting thought. Damn those pasta strainers anyway!

A business does have the right to market its services in (almost) whatever ways it sees fit, as in "ladies nights" at pubs, "two-fers" for couples, "bring a can of food and get in free".

I was asked earlier in the process why I was limiting it to gay couples; what if a hetero couple wanted to get married free---wasn't it reverse discrimination to say no to them?

My answer was that it was limited to gay couples because they couldn't get married in any other church on the island. It is limited to a one year offer to residents only because of my limited time and energy.

Hope this helps.

ms. kitty said...

And yes, of course, EBS, you can mention Proposal 2009. I figure anything published on this blog is open to use.

Laura, thanks for your kind words and wild cheers!

Lizard Eater said...

And, if we want to get down to dollars, offering a free wedding only slightly mitigates the huge economic disparity between a heterosexual marriage and its accompanying rights and a homosexual non-legal marriage, and the accompanying rights* that have to be purchased through the services of lawyers, court fees, etc.

*wills, hospital visitation, ability to make health decisions, parenting/adoption, etc etc etc.

LinguistFriend said...

Well, that is delightful. The more people get married, the better it is for local business, so you are subsidizing your local colleagues in business by not charging, and helping establish Whidbey as a place for gays to get married, perhaps even take up residence. Goodness, you could turn it into West Hollywood (there are not enough women there, it's unnerving)!

ms. kitty said...

Right on, LE. The disparities are huge.

And LF, it's true, we are stimulating the moribund economy!

The Eclectic Cleric said...

This is great Kit; and it's really all about your leadership, and willingness to take a good idea and run with it. Now you've got me thinking about how well something like this would translate to my situation here in Portland, where we are already a pretty popular wedding venue, but might also be able to generate some good visibility for both the cause and the church.

ms. kitty said...

Tim, thanks for your kind words. It would be so exciting if you and other ministers could figure out viable ways of doing something like this. It's interesting that my post to the chat a day ago has elicited absolutely no comment, at least yet. Maybe the idea will take root slowly--or not at all. But we could really be influential in this regard. IMHO.

Joel said...
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ms. kitty said...
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