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    Pride in Marriage

    howardBay Area civic pride is palpable, from the Golden State Warriors victory celebrations earlier this month to all of the rainbow motifs now in more businesses than ever before. It is hard not to notice Chase and Wells Fargo Banks’ ATMs displaying red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet!

    As one of this paper’s columnists who focuses on weddings and rituals, it is timely for me to write about the Supreme Court of the United States’ (SCOTUS) decision on same sex marriage. We have come so far, and yet I’ve had to wonder these past several months: How is it that government got involved approving which couples could marry and which couldn’t? I am not a historian nor sociologist, but I would guess that it was to reflect the mores or the comfort level of the majority of the populace at the time.

    Thankfully those have since changed, with at least 63% of all Americans supporting marriage equality, according to the latest polls. Same sex marriage is important, and not just so that everyone who wishes to marry can legally do so.

    It is also important because we in the LGBT community, as well as our allies, can now put more of our time, energy, money and creativity into making the world a better place. We can do this, for example, by supporting the It Gets Better campaign or anti-bullying programs. Additionally, perhaps we will have more resources to help our trans sisters and brothers as the awareness of that community broadens.

    At each and every wedding I officiate, I get a huge sense of pride when toward the end I proclaim, “So, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws of these lands, and in the beloved company of family and friends, it is my honor—and with absolute delight—that I now pronounce you…” Be it wife & wife, husband & husband, or husband & wife, I am thrilled for each couple and proud of the work that I do.

    I hope that each of us has a brightly colored and fantabulous Pride Season.

    Howard M. Steiermann is an Ordained Ritual Facilitator based in San Francisco. For more information, please visit