Why I Became A Wedding Officiant

My wedding day will always be one of the happiest days of my life. It’s been a year, and I feel extremely fortunate and privileged to be able to experience love, and to have been able to celebrate, and express that love through marriage to my partner.

On the same day we were engaged in 2014, the ban on same-sex marriage was deemed unconstitutional in the state of Michigan. I can still remember receiving text messages from friends that day who, while they celebrated us, also celebrated themselves saying things like “I can get married now too!”

Shortly after that, the legislature said “just kidding”, and reversed that ruling.

Even now, after the United States Supreme Court ruled marriage equality as a constitutional right, there are still efforts by folks here in Michigan and around the country to resist that ruling by attempting to limit and deny same-sex couples of this right.

Yes, despite the ruling this denial and rejection continues to take place on institutional levels, as well as on personal levels with family and close loved-ones.

In my note, Getting In Our Own Way: 2 Barriers We Contribute To That limit Social Change, I talk about the dangerous combination of prejudice plus the power to enforce and act out that prejudice against others.

“Closely aligned with believing that all others experience the world in the same ways as we do, is the belief that all others should believe that our way is the superior way. Ethnocentrism can refer to the ways in which we can think our culture and ways of doing things are superior to others’ ways of doing and being.

Combining that sense of entitlement with power and influence is how we end up with situations where legislation is proposed that involves the execution people who are gay, or denying them services, environments that exclude people with disabilities, structurally racist practices in housing, employment, law enforcement, criminal justice, education, healthcare, and more, economic inequality, and a host of other issues and isms where people are blamed for the physical, emotional, and social violence exerted against them.”

In 2014 I got internet-ordained and added officiating weddings to the service I provide because I feel that no one should be denied the same right to express their love as I have.

In this way, I offer non-traditional experiences for people who are looking for something unique to them, particularly those who may be looking to create their own expressions of love.

I believe that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice“, and I hope you do too.


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW



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I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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4 Responses

  1. Newswire says:

    I really enjoyed this post…It’s like an inspiration…:)

  1. March 22, 2016

    […] Read: “Why I Became A Wedding Officiant” at Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian […]

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