Dear Family and Friends,
We look at marriage a little differently than most in the US, and we’d like to explain it here.
We believe that marriage has two sides: the legal side and the spiritual-social side. What a couple and their loved ones recognize as marriage may not be recognized by the state, and vice versa.
Given the 1,000+ legal benefits conferred by marriage, including power of attorney, joint tax filing, insurance sharing, and automatic inheritance, the institution of marriage resembles a business partnership in the eyes of the law. Just as there are several forms of business partnerships, we would like the state to recognize several forms of official personal partnerships, from domestic partnerships through covenant marriages. We think that two family members or friends who support each other and live together should have access to a package of legal benefits and protections, and we firmly believe that two people of the same sex in a committed romantic relationship should have exactly the same legal status as an opposite-sex couple like us.
Although that system has yet to be realized, we have decided to begin our marriage in accordance with our ideals. We will “sign up” for our legal benefits prior to the ceremony, leaving us all free on July 30 to formally celebrate the beginning of our spiritual and social marriage.
What makes a strong marriage is the love and spiritual commitment between the two partners, and the supportive community their families, friends, and acquaintances create for their relationship. With the legal element taken out of the ceremony, we will be free to focus on these elements. Your role as a guest is thus very important! While we have declared our love and commitment to each other many times, we think it is important to make this declaration publicly, in front of our family and friends. And because we hope to enjoy your support throughout our marriage, in the ceremony you will have an active role to play in recognizing and blessing our union.
We realize this is somewhat unusual, but we hope that you will join us fully in celebrating the beginning of our true marriage. Please contact either of us if you have questions or concerns; we will do our best to help you feel comfortable and excited about participating. We look forward to celebrating our marriage with you in July.
Katie and Chris