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On The Importance Of Love And Kindness

lgbt lesbian wedding couple

So let’s talk about love.  After all, this is mainly a wedding blog, and love is always in the air around here.  Love is the one thing that everyone in the human race seeks.  We live to love and be loved.  We are programmed to seek out our mother’s eyes from the second we enter this world, and from that moment on and for every day of our lives, the best things we remember are the moments when we felt the most love, whether we were giving or receiving it.  It’s a simple biological fact that we are designed to love one another, if only because it ensures our survival.  The beauty of the fact that we are made to love is that it means that we are capable of being so much more than the sum of our parts.

And because I believe so very strongly that we all are capable of being so amazing, you can imagine how mystified I am that anyone would want to keep people who love each other apart.  But there are people who seem to want to stop love, or direct how others love, or I don’t even know what.  And it’s wrong.  Completely wrong.  It’s so wrong it makes my head hurt from the sheer cruelty of it.

So I want to share this video with you.  This is a video created by Nora McCormack from Softshell Productions in New England about Erin and Jen.  You may remember Erin and Jen from their beautiful destination wedding in New Hampshire this summer.  They are an amazing couple who are so very much in love and so absolutely perfect for each other that there can be no doubt to a reasonable person that they belong together for life.

Erin and Jen’s wedding was very special to me.  All of the weddings I photograph are special, no doubt.  But their wedding made me do something I never do at weddings.  I cried.

Let me explain.

During a wedding, I’m typically about as happy as a person can get.  I think weddings are beautiful and joyful and fun and amazing.  But I don’t cry when I’m happy.  I’m not that kind of girl.  I smile so hard my face hurts.  I take a jillion photos.  I laugh when the vows are funny.  I smile when the reading is touching.  And I sigh when the music is beautiful.  But crying isn’t my thing.

But when Jen said her vows to Erin, I lost it.  And when they came down the aisle hand in hand, I had tears streaming down my face.  Because their wedding was about so much more than just the two of them.  Their wedding was the beautiful union of two souls that were meant to be one.  Their wedding was the joyful joining of their two families into one.  Their wedding was legal.  Their wedding was something so many other people just like them can’t have.

Their wedding was something I can’t have.

In fact, all the weddings I photograph are something I can’t have.  And no one can give me a good reason why.

Here are a few interesting facts:   Jessica and I will celebrate our 12th anniversary this winter.  In the time that we have been together, we have raised three amazing children.  They are kind, thoughtful, and polite teenagers.  They are all incredibly intelligent and make excellent grades in school.  They participate in sports and theater and chorus.  They are hard working and constantly receive compliments from their teachers, the parents of their friends, and our neighbors for their generosity, their good manners, and their work ethic.  They are good people because we are damn good parents.  But that doesn’t count.

Our family, which is very real to us, doesn’t exist in the eyes of the law.  In the eyes of the law, I am a landlord, a roommate, a friend, an acquaintance, but not a parent or a spouse.  The twelve years weve been a family means nothing in the eyes of the law.

And no one can give me a good reason why.

You want to know whats really sick?  You can do something about it.  Because my rights, and the rights of my family, and the rights of Erin and Jen, and millions of other people like me and Jessica and Erin and Jen are actually something open to popular vote.

Whether or not their marriage can continue to exist is something you can vote on.  Whether or not my family can ever have any legal protection is something you can vote on.  Whether or not millions of Americans can go to work in the morning and not fear being fired for who they love is something you can vote on.  So were all left in the enviable position of having to plead for you to vote to make our existence legal.

And that pisses me off.  But it is what it is.

So vote.  And it would be really cool if you would vote for the people who won’t busy themselves amending the US Constitution to make my family more illegal.  If you did, that would make you a better person than most of my family and friends.

Yeah.  I’m a little bitter.  Wouldnt you be?

In the meantime, I’m going to keep on loving Jessie and our family.  And I’m going to keep making amazing photos of amazing weddings.  Because that’s what you do, right?

Right.

Amanda Summerlin

Amanda Summerlin

Artist and Explorer at Amanda Summerlin Photography
Hello. My name is Amanda. I make neat pictures of nice people, drink coffee and whiskey (sometimes at the same time), and travel. I love traveling so much, I won't charge you any travel fees to photograph your wedding. Check out my travel info page for all the details. And see my blog for all the cool photos.
Amanda Summerlin

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  • Beth - One of these days our country will quit voting on things like the human rights of people. One of these days. It’s coming. (Don’t know when. But it’s coming.)ReplyCancel

  • Kinzie - I couldn’t agree with Beth more. I think (hope! pray!) that it’s closer than it seems right now.

    And damnit if you didn’t make me sob with that video, and with your post. I’m sure it didn’t help that I heard part of our own ceremony in that video. Marriage is just too good to leave awesome people out. Let’s change it already. Please?

    <3ReplyCancel

  • Karen - This is really beautiful. People’s civil rights should never be voted on. It is abhorrent. I hope one day we will all have all the rights we are due under the law as citizens of the United States.ReplyCancel

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