I’m so grateful for all of the congratulatory notes, facebook messages, cards, and gifts we got, but I am particularly pleased with those that came from active Mormons. So many active Mormons had supportive things to say during and after my wedding, and frankly, it surprised me. The messages came from people who didn’t have to send them. I received a dozen such congratulatory notes from former missionaries from my mission, and many more from people in my wards at BYU, a Sunday school teacher from my childhood, parents of friends, and former seminary friends.
One active Mormon who in High School had boasted that he was a homophobe, wrote, “I heard you were getting married! I trust it was a very special event. I’m really glad you are happy and wish you all the best …” That was a common comment–“I am glad you are happy.” Many said they could see that I was happy in my wedding photos.
I’m still trying to sort out what this all means. Does it mean that a large portion of active Mormons are not on the same page as their Salt Lake leaders on the issue of gay marriage? Maybe not–these same people may even still vote against gay marriage if given the opportunity (that is a disturbing thought). Maybe it means that my wedding showed them happiness is obtainable outside the narrow confines of Mormonism. Or maybe it just means that they can disassociate my decisions and their beliefs. I don’t know, I’m still wrapping my head around it.
I will say this though. While it is still impossible for me as a man married to a man to be a member of the Church, that doesn’t mean faithful Mormons have to or will exclude me from their friendship. There is no doubt that you can believe in my right to marry and celebrate it and still be an active member of the Church. That means that if you have something less than supportive to say about my marriage, you can’t use “I’m Mormon” as your excuse for bigotry.