Now, have you made false assumptions as I did? The Minister of the church is a married woman. It was the first same sex marriage in her church. She has in the past been very gay friendly towards the local community. I spoke to her briefly afterwards, telling her who I was and that I had been in same sex relationship for a number of years. How long, she asked? Ok, you know all about the battles for same sex rights, and the step back at the height of the AIDS crisis. Indeed I do know. I pointed out to her that I haven't been a great gay activist, but at times in my own way got stuck in. The church website is quite impressive.
She said that she owes a lot to the women before her who made it possible for her to be in the position she is now.
She conducted the marriage ceremony beautifully. There was a little religion in the ceremony but nothing too much to spook the non believers. Mother complained about the welcome to country beginning, a standard tribute to the Aboriginal custodians of the land before we white fellas came. Standard practice now Mother, I told her, live with it.
The MC was Sister's straight female friend, who chose her wedding dress. She was great. Another good friend of Sister's and part of the bridal party spoke and she must be Catholic and I am afraid what she said in a religious context rather went over my head.
Little Jo spoke about Sister's and Bone Doctor's first marriage in Canberra, five years to the day earlier. They were the last couple to be married in the ACT. It was quickly outlawed by the Federal Government and their marriage annulled by the nasty John Howard. Little Jo wrongly said it was Tony Abbott, a later former Prime Minister, which did bring boos and hisses of support from those present. I didn't know at the time, but it was an unrehearsed speech.
Rings were exchanged, vows to love, respect etc were taken, without mention of obeying. (Bone Doctor knows better than to not obey Sister) You may kiss the bride. I now pronounce you as a married couple. Cheers rang out.
Then there was signing of the official documents. Who are those people up there? Ah, Little Jo's bio donor father and his wife.
As I have said, they have lots of friends who do things for them for cheap rates. A decent mention was made in the service about what Sister and Bone Doctor do for the local community. If you remember, Mother complained about them never being home when she stayed there. That is one of the reasons. A group of scouts was in attendance for part of the service, no doubt Bone Doctor's troop.
Sister thought it fit to invite our late Step Father's daughter and her husband. They are probably in their sixties, and while it was a bit hard for them as they knew few people, I think they liked that they came. He is a farmer and bigwig in peak farming organisations, so I think it it is safe to conclude that they would be on the conservative side of social matters and politics, yet the country farmers were at a same sex wedding. Bone Doctor's family did not bat an eyelid at the same sex wedding. I hope it was because they are tolerant, rather than just not caring. Bone Doctor's Uncle spoke about how sports competitive Bone Doctor is. At some point in his life he realised she could beat him in rugby. Her Father asked how many people had seen Bone Doctor in a dress, and more hands than he expected went up, including ours. We saw her in a clingy dress and with her slim but still feminine figure, she looked terrific, perhaps like a 1920s flapper. She went to a conservative posh private girls school for her secondary education. She was incensed that she could not wear trousers at school and soon had that policy of girls having to wearing dresses changed. While she was not welcome at Australian Rules Football, she realised there were no female restrictions at rugby, so that is what she played.
Sister put up a video clip on FB today. Most of the first part of Little Jo's performance was cut out. I expect that was because she scratched her crotch three times, that I noticed. It was very distracting from a fine performance. After Little Jo started, a tenor cut in (quite an attractive bloke in a nerdish kind of way) and as Little Jo stopped, then he stopped and a soprano, who is the adult daughter of Little Jo's bio father sang. Then it went to all of them singing together. It was magical. Many have recorded the song but I believe the sublime original was by The Carpenters.
After the signing of documents, where there had been complete silence aside from a little gurgle from one of the twins, suddenly music burst forth from the speakers and all 80 of us clapped, laughed and cheered as Sister and Bone Doctor danced down the aisle, with Sister singing along at the top of her voice to this track. Gosh it was a great wind up to the wedding ceremony.
Afterwards there was a terrific serving of nibbles and drinks, and boy did I need a drink. Then the main meal buffet, all good. A live guitarist performed who was really good. There was much dancing and frivolity. R took Step Mother back to the cottage and returned but it was then wind up time at 10pm, although things certainly weren't shutting down. One interesting thing happened that I did not understand until later, Sister served Bone Doctor a morsel of wedding cake on a long knife. People were calling out no, but it went ahead. I guess it is an ultimate act of trust.
We left and spent the next two hours outside back at the cottage with a bottle of Scotch while we sorted out the world and our lives. Neither is any better for our efforts, but that is what we do. Bed by midnight and I did not wake until 6.30.
Tradie Brother was taking Step Mother home the next morning and arrived at our cottage at 9. They departed and we realised Step Mother had bought up big and cheaply on Apple Cider when we stopped along the way at Dan Murphys, one dozen small bottles, and she had left them in the fridge, so we called them and they returned in about ten minutes to get them.
We left the cottage at check out time, 10, and caught up briefly with Sister and Bone Doctor, Ex Sis in Law, Hippie Niece and The Twins at the church hall where a clean up was happening. I still can't tell the twins apart. Via a lunch stop again at Routleys Bakery, with not a hot tradie in sight, we were home by 12.30 and rested for the rest of the day.