This morning I drove down to the town clerk’s office with a bill for some work I had just completed. As I sat waiting my turn to see the clerk there was a young couple giving the clerk information for a marriage license. As I sat there I found myself praying for this young couple who will be married very soon. The guy seemed a little less nervous than the young lady. She was 24 years old. I didn’t hear his age, but I think he was probably about the same. I thought back to that day in May 1983 when Diane and I were in the very same clerks’ office doing the same thing. How much has changed in those twenty-four years and how much has remained the same. I can’t measure the richness and beauty of my life as a married man, but I know that I’d recommend it thoughtfully to others. Marriage is a commitment and a unique bond between two lives that become one. Churches and civil institutions are the places where the ceremonies take place but marriage really takes place between two people and over an extended period of time. To describe marriage as a civil union is to do it a gross injustice. Sometimes the civility is lost but if a marriage is to survive it must be regained over and over again. Much uproar has occurred over gay marriage and not being gay I’m not fully qualified to comment, but I’m sure that gay people can be married and it can work. Two people can become one and it doesn’t have to be a man and a woman it could be two men or two women. In our marriage we have four people. Our union has produced two other unique souls, but we are all one.
In 1983 we paid seven dollars. Today’s couple pays thirty-five dollars in New York State. It’s fifty dollars in Pennsylvania and non-refundable. Did you know in New York State there is a twenty-four waiting period between the purchase of a marriage license and the actual ceremony. I think that’s a good rule.