In addition to Carol's moving portrayal of a gay man's funeral, the need for blessing same sex unions involves another fundamental right but this one involves the children of GLBT people -- to have state recognized married parents. We are already seeing cases move through the courts of children denied the right of visitation for both same sex parents. In one instance, a lesbian couple had a child through insemination. The birth mother later joined a Christian cult and repented of her lesbian "sin." She took the child and moved to a conservative state where a homophobic judge has denied visitation rights to the other parent.
A few years ago while working in a children's hospital, a nurse named Sam adopted with his partner a baby born with multiple health problems including cancer. A year later, the baby died at eighteen months old and I officiated at a bereavement service to honor him and other children who had died in the previous year. When we called the baby's name, Sam and his partner proceeded to the altar and lit a candle in the boy's name. After the warm light illuminated even the darkest sadness, Sam and his partner broke down and wept for their lost son. They grieved as human beings, a couple, a sanctified union -- they grieved as parents.
The following year, Sam and his partner adopted another little boy. They met me in a hallway and asked me to bless their child.
"I want to do more," I said. "I want to bless you as a family." We gathered in a circle, two gay men and a pastor and we held the baby. "Gracious God, Bless this family. May their union always know your love and support." We each shed our own tears of joy.
The homophobic fundamentalists preach that there is sin in the very act of lovemaking among gays and lesbians, and yet look what love made in Sam's family -- a baby boy carried to heaven and another baby boy with the potential for long life. Sin cannot exist where there is so much love and Sam's family embodies love in abundance.