J found her dress yesterday! The picture is her dress on a very pretty model from David's Bridal- not nearly as pretty as J, of course. We took some pictures (J trying on the dress on the left, and my sister trying bridesmaid dresses), so I'll try to post a few of those once they're developed. She's awfully purty!
For a while now, I've been trying to come up with a post on religion and our wedding. One reason for this is the way that our media and community talks about same-sex marriage. Usually, the image presented is of a same-sex couple applying for their marriage license at City Hall vs. a straight couple getting married in a church, and the dichotomy of the argument is between civil marriage and religious marriage. It is important to draw the distinction for people, because the radical right tries to confuse the general public by equating the two- trying to scare people into opposing others' civil rights by predicting change in their own religious organizations. In reality, of course, civil marriage is the civil right, and individual churches and religious organizations will make up their own policies on whether or not to officiate at same-sex weddings or recognize the marriages of their GLBT members. So, the distinction is important, but it does partly play into the radical right's corner on religion (at least in the media). Lost in all the hysteria over ultra-conservative churches wrestling for control of our government are the religious freedoms of other people. Like us. We have a religion, too, and have every right to practice it as one of the founding principles of the government we live under. Now, for those who belong to religious organizations that don't recognize them fully because they are queer, having a wedding within that organization is probably not possible, because religious marriage rights are entirely up to the congregations that make up each particular practice. For us, belonging to a religious organization that recognizes the sacredness of our wedding, means that having a wedding in our welcoming church, using our traditions, is an expression of our religious identity and freedom. It might sound funny for a Unitarian Universalist to say, but having a religious wedding in our faith is important to us. And I'm very happy that our congregation is open and welcoming to us so that we can do so.
That being said, J and I will also be having a private exchange of vows in the very early morning, to personally recognize the different religious backgrounds we come from. Though we're both very happy to have joined our UU Society, we also come to it from two very different traditions, and we want to use them as we make our personal and private vows in the morning, before we meet our friends and family at church. So darn traditional, again. Fiddler on the Roof, anyone?