Why I have Same-Sex Ketubah Texts

Growing up in the 70s and 80s in Austin and San Francisco, I knew gays and lesbians. They were the friends of my parents, the parents of my friends, and then in adolescence, my friends.

Alice Walker quote: "No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow."

As a child, I knew them as grownups who really listened to kids, who didn't order us around or talk over our heads. I didn't know how difficult their paths to being themselves had been, only that they were kind. As a teen, they were often the parents who reached out to me seeing that I was having a hard time, giving me odd jobs. At the same time, I began meeting teens who were out of the closet. One friend, Sean, had been kicked out at the age of 15 by his Catholic mother for admitting that he was Gay. Although he had been rejected by those who should have been his biggest fans, he was warm and accepting. He always had a kind word for me and as he was 4 years older than me, his opinion meant something to me. He wasn't trying to get anything from me, only generously giving me friendship, a rare commodity from an older boy.

As I got older, I learned that there is the same variety of personalities in the Gay World as there are amongst the rest of us. But something of my early experiences stuck. There is a great value in being around people who have struggled to accept themselves. In order to be publicly who they are, they have had to reconcile within themselves the contradiction of self, sexuality, and public judgement. The number of suicides of gays and lesbians hints that this reconciliation is hard come by, that many do not survive it. Those who do, have a resilience that often manifests as compassion and kindness - just the kind of people I like to be around.

It seems self-evident that everyone deserves equal rights on a governmental level. I don't need to rehash arguments better stated elsewhere. On a business level, it also seems self-evident that customers deserve good service. But neither of these are the real reason I have always made a point of having same-sex ketubah texts (since 1999 when I put up my first ketubah website). The real reason is that I like having Gays and Lesbians around. Because of this, I offer what is essentially a custom text - any of my texts made into same-sex versions on request - for the same price as my other texts, waiving the $50 fee I normally charge for a custom text.