Jeeni Criscenzo: We are entering a new Renaissance

Joe Crews
Even death shall not us part ...
INSIGHTS = by Joe Howard Crews = June 28, 2008

My dearest Greg,

I went to a wedding today. It was such a joyous event, I have to share it with you. It's the first time I've ever cried at a wedding. It makes me quite happy that I, at 70 years, can feel such joy. It made me so happy to see Jeenie and Juan take their wedding vows today. It made me happy to see them so happy. It made me happy to be with such a great gathering of San Diego's most beautiful and enlightened people.

Their great family of friends and dear ones, which gathered today, may have been the greatest and most powerful confluence of loving hearts ever assembled in San Diego. Who can say? We, who were there, experienced something truly different. This was actually a congregational wedding of many beautiful hearts.

It was an historic day, but we may not realize that until someone writes a story, perhaps fifty years from now, naming the great souls who were present. For among them were some great people, their names already written in the annals of social justice, and others who are still rising as our land begins to rebuild and heal itself. And this greatness is measured, not by power or wealth, but by the rich reservoir which feeds the grassroots of people who make our country great -- the great reservoir of collective hope and love and faith for the future of our homes, our country and our planet.

It was not a church wedding. It was a wedding up in the sky of our beautiful San Diego, above the churches, across from Balboa Park, up on the ninth floor looking over the city to the great Pacific. The sun sparkled through a clear blue sky, bathing us in the outdoor penthouse garden, as birds circled above, and aircraft glided downward toward Lindberg Field, visible through the arches of the patio. This was a heavenly setting for a stellar couple and a stellar congregation.

Dear Greg. It was so beautiful. It was so powerful with hope and joy. I wish you could have been with me today, but I felt your presence there in my heart. If you were still living, we could have gone together as newly weds ourselves. If you were still living and had been with me today, I would not have cried. For I would have been wed to the man I love. For the love and joy I felt today is the kind of joyous occasion I so deeply desired to share with you. But it was not meant to be.

I share now with you something special. Just before Jeenie began to cut her wedding cake, she spoke. "We are entering a new Renaissance, a new consciousness of love and social acceptance, including for same-sex couples." I cried again when Jennie uttered these words. They sprang straight from her heart into my own heart, and now I share them with you on the other side. For such loving words to be shared with her own wedding cake bespeaks the depth of the love in these two souls. Juan and Jeenie are children of this new Renaissance.

"I cannot imagine what it would be like to be told by our government that I could not marry the person I love," Jeenie said.

But I can imagine, because I am gay, and I have been denied this joy all my life by my government and my society. But I remember also the words of Carol Hilton, as she conducted the marriage ceremony today, when she stated that in the most essential and fundamental way, no priest, no pastor, no rabbi and no government official can marry two people. Only the two people who love each other can do this. And you and I did this, quite amazingly on our very first date fifteen years ago. Weren't we brash and daring to follow our hearts and make our vows so quickly to each like that! But it made our lives so wonderful together.

Yes, my dearest Greg, we did actually marry each other, in spite of our government and in spite of our religious institutions and in spite of our society. And something else these institutions cannot do is dissolve love after death.<

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