Witnessing history

CandlesNot often during a lifetime do you have the opportunity to witness history, that is, an event that is historic and that you are part of. I mean more than watching something on TV. Actually being there.

Last night, as the stroke of midnight ushered in 2010 and a new decade, the door also opened for legal gay marriage in New Hampshire. Our Unitarian Universalist church in Nashua was packed to celebrate and affirm the marriage of two of our members, Jenn and Michelle. As our minister declared them married, the sanctuary erupted in applause and cheers, heartfelt joy that was palpable.

Jenn and Michelle are such a generous and giving couple and have two delightful children. I can’t imagine anyone knowing them and not feeling that their family deserves the same rights and acceptance as heterosexual couples.

Yet reading the reaction from a number of people to the article in the local paper reminds me that the idea of gay marriage still stirs passions in some.

Nonetheless, I refuse to let those often bitter reactions depress me. Today I’m grateful for having witnessed this marriage, for knowing Jenn and Michelle, for New Hampshire being one of the few states where gay marriage is legal, and for the faith that the tide has turned.

The words of Robert Kennedy seem appropriate.

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.

Our community made a contribution towards the history of this generation last night. For that and the abundant joy, I think it was the best New Year’s Eve of my life.

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