My friends just got engaged- after about two decades together. They have grown together, learned together, built a Jewish home together and served their jewish community- passionately. They have taught me alot about what it means to be in relationship- to each other and to the Jewish people. But legally, they are two single women who happen to live together- for a really long time.
So when the state of California ruled that gay people had a right to marriage along with their straight counterparts, my friends got engaged. When they told me, I wondered a little why it mattered. I knew it was not about the benefits. They would go back afterwards to their home state, where no benefits are extended to lesbian couples. It wasn’t for a sense of commitment, or seriousness, either, they already have that. Tonight, when I was thinking about it, I understood that this was about being heard. I began to understand a song I had sung many times:
“It will still be heard in the cities of Judah and in the outskirts of Jerusalem- The sound of joy and the sound of happiness, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride”
The song expresses happiness- not only with the marriage of the couple, but with the presence of so many members of the community, who hear and recognize their joy. For my friends, that recognition and celebration are long overdue. I am happy to have had the privilege to hear their joy and to see the commitment and love- for each other and for judaism that they bring into their relationship.
I hope the state of California will have the courage to hear them soon.
Posted by queeryeshivameidel
* I hope to post later- and separately, on the subject of lesbian marriage in halacha, both civil and religious.