The hot and humid weather that moistened all the pores of my body did not dampen what turned out to be one of the most beautiful weekends of a summer end, the wedding of my cousin Arthur Leddy to his beloved, Javier Garcia. Yes, it was a same sex marriage, now finally legal in California after a long ridiculous battle with henious Proposition unceremoniously called 8.
We have seen DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell fall by the way side and we are on the verge on some national decisions by the Supreme Court.
Amid, all these wins for marriage equality, is the story and love of Arthur and Javier.
Arthur is one of my youngest cousins on my father’s side. His dad and my dad are brothers. They both are deceased , each from degenerative diseases similar to ALS. Both our families are close.
When I came out, Arthur followed. He shared with me later that he took courage to do so after he saw how well his mother responded to my coming out. I came out later in life , Arthur came out shortly after high school. Our journeys were different but we shared family bonds translated to our shared LGBT bonds.
Eventually ,he introduced me to Javier. My first impression was that they fit together. They are one of those couples.
Javier easily wins over anyone he meets and it was no different with me. I could see the twinkle in my cousin’s eye every time they were together. That was twelve years ago.
Their wedding was a celebration. It brought family, friends and colleagues together where sexual orientation was not the defining theme, but love. So here is my toast that I would have given to you newlyweds, Arthur and Javier Leddy.
I raise my glass and toast the miracle that has just happened. Yes, a wonderful miracle in a place where I thought miracles were not possible for people like us, who loved like us. But here today, in front of everyone, family, friend, state and God, Arthur and Javier, you did just that. You vowed that sacred vow to love and cherish each other as husbands in every way that it means. Your union is recognized as binding and your coupledom is spousal. My heart wants to sing for you and for all of us, both gay and straight. Your marriage is a win for your love. It is a win for all love.
From Stonewall to Harvey Milk, from Jose Sarria to Ellen, from Billy Jean King to Edie Windsor, this day is about them. It is also about our ancestors who sailed the lateen proas across the vast oceans to a small island or the natives that built great empires across this continent. It is about our ancestors on both sides who survived conquerors and wars. It is about our families who have risen above their own biases, beliefs and looked into your hearts with their faith and only see love.
I raise my glass, my dear cousins, Arthur and Javier, because , this miracle is not ending but beginning. It is the miracle of life that will be a journey, with all its challenges, all its ups and downs, and more importantly , it will be accentuated by increasing JOY and the fullness of LOVE.
Congratulations to the both of you!