Over the weekend, I attended a wonderful bbq with friends, a set of their parents and some friends of the family.
The friends are a couple who moved to the United States specifically to escape the life threatening attitudes of their countrymen. Being different sometimes makes one the target of brutality. In their case, they are a gay couple who found each other and were persecuted for following their hearts.
So, they came to the United States with the hope that they would be accepted for who they are and their love for each other for what it is; a genuine bonding of souls that any couple would envy.
Living in the bay area, the couple of took advantage of San Francisco's brief enlightened state and were legally married. They told the whole story and it was rather extraordinary. While most have heard of the the grassroots effort to send flowers to couples who were waiting to be married, the kindness and generosity did not stop there.
During the 7 hours that the couple stood in line, there was food and drink distributed freely and many people stopping to offer congratulations. Not only that, but the city government staff volunteered to speed many long hours over a holidy weekend working to fulfill the desire of the thousands of couples that showed up.
It was a moving story. Alone, it gave me hope that Bush and Ashcroft cannot destroy open mindedness no matter how hard they try.
The story did not end with the civil ceremony. They were also able to arrange for a religious ceremony on short notice. The mother of one was able to attend-- was coincidentally in the area traveling-- and reluctantly did so. She had not accepted her child's life choice or partner. However, upon attending the ceremony and seeing the outpouring of love and support from their friends, the church and the community, she embraced her child's partner and not only accepted the partner but asked that he take care of her son no matter what might happen.