I was that kid who made church pews out of scrabble square holders and had my barbies get married over and over and over. I watched Cinderella and teared up at the thought of that someday being me. I'd sit in church and day dream about how it would look when I got married there. I'd cut pictures out of my Seventeen and YM magazines to show what kind of dress I wanted (strapless, poofy, princess gown). I hit high school still day dreaming about my perfect wedding. Somewhere in there I started to realize that my Prince Charming wasn't going to be a man. That doesn't matter. I still want the dress and the flowers and the ring and the happily ever after. And so does she. She wants me to have that dream wedding I've always wanted. Hell she sends me links to wedding blogs (apracticalwedding.com Love!) and we aren't even engaged. Everything is perfect.
Except the church.
I grew up in the Episcopal church. I was nurtured and taught and loved and I've never once felt discriminated against. Until now and it absolutely breaks my heart. I'm supported and accepted as long as I don't expect the same rights as everyone else. As long as I remember that I'm different. What hurts the most is that there is no official discrimination. According to the Episcopal church the bishop can actually grant a priest's request to 'marry' a same sex couple. Unfortunately I live in Texas. I went out on a limb and emailed my childhood priest asking him where the church currently stood. He wrote me back this incredibly thoughtful and supportive email letting me know how happy he is to hear I'm happy and in love and that he'd be more than happy to provide pre-marital counseling for us but he can't marry us. He caught hell from the bishop for simply attending a same sex union much less officiating one. He explained that the bishop faces pressure from the fancy conservative high churches (thank you Houston and Dallas) who threaten to pull their funding if he so much as smiles in the way of same sex unions.
So that's it. I can't walk down the aisle that my parents walked down in the church where I was baptized and raised and taught about God and love and the difference between right and wrong because I'm gay. He kindly offered to talked to churches in California for us if we liked but it's not the same. I keep entertaining ideas of us becoming members of one of the gay friendly churches in Austin who will marry us but it's not the same. Maybe I'm being a stubborn kid about this, but it feels to me like having to go out and find a new parent to walk me down the aisle because, while my current parent loves and supports me, he doesn't agree with me marrying a girl so I'll have to find someone else to stand in. That's not love. That's not support. That's not acceptance. I think maybe it's time to do some serious lobbying to the new bishop in town or it's time to find a new church. Permanently.