The first day of General Synod was a bit hazy for me, having driven straight from Boston with my husband and two children and arrived in Cleveland at 2 AM. Despite the late night, our children still got us up early, so we were up and watching television when the US Supreme Court announced its decision in the Obergefell decision.
Being at General Synod on the day that marriage equality was announced by the US Supreme Court was particularly significant for me. When I started dating my now husband in 1997, I began to attend First Congregational Church in Poughkeepsie, New York. Going to church together in a congregation that supported and nurtured us as a couple was important to our relationship.
Fifteen years ago this week, my husband and I were married at our church. Since it was 2001, our marriage was not legally recognized, but having our pastor bless our union in our church in front of our family and friends was significant, and being able to marry in our own church was important. We moved to Massachusetts ten years ago and were legally married at our new church, Old South Church, just before adopting our first child in 2009.
Now to see marriages like ours officially recognized throughout the country is moving, and all the more powerful to be in Ohio, a state where our marriage was not legally acknowledged yesterday. When we had dinner tonight between plenary sessions, we were touched that an anonymous stranger picked up the tab for our meal, adding to our celebration that marriage equality is now the law of the land. We look forward tomorrow to celebrating the UCC’s impressive history of being open and affirming of LGBT people.
Tracy Keene is a member of Old South Church in Boston, UCC.