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Between the Lines: Adult misconceptions fuel anti-gay stigmas

If I had spent my Saturday in Ohio it would have been illegal.

I stepped out of the Washington, D.C. cab and into the venue. The security guard asked, “You here for the wedding?” My dad nodded in reply. “Upstairs, to the right.”

The National Organization for Marriage said my experience Saturday refined marriage for every human being.

I took my seat with my family and read through my program, which simply said “Rory and Kenan” on the cover in elegant silver letters.

According to the Westboro Baptist Church, my Saturday caused multiple tragedies throughout America.

I smiled when the 16-month-old ring bearer walked down the aisle and I tried to get him to sit still during the ceremony.

The Family Research Institute said my day put his future in danger.

I clapped and cheered with everyone else as the newlyweds kissed and walked down the aisle together.

According to Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, I was witnessing a criminal act that was violating free speech.

I raised my glass during the toasts. I made small talk with the people seated at my table.

According to Abiding Truth Ministries and the American Family Association, I was seated there by two members of the Nazi party.

I had awkward conversations with family members I hardly see. I embarrassedly boogied to “Dancing Queen” with my family.

Concerned Women for America said my cousin, his husband, one of the groomsmen, a fair number of the guests and I are at risk for enormous physical and mental health risks and all the child guests are now enticed to experiment with a homosexual lifestyle.

I quickly got a picture with the grooms as they ran around ensuring the photographer snapped a picture with every guest.

Does that really sound that different from any other wedding? Sure, there was no throwing of the bouquet and the term “groomsmaids” was coined to describe the women in the wedding. But the devil didn’t come bursting out of the marble floor and nobody was struck by lightning.

I could easily go back to the 16-month-old ring bearer and point out that he sees no difference between Uncle Kenan’s husband and Aunt Jana’s boyfriend, but toddlers in tuxes aren’t the reason my Saturday couldn’t have been in Ohio.

Hatred and closed-minded beliefs are adult problems. They should be thought about and hopefully be put to a popular vote in Ohio, my cousin-in-law’s home state of Virginia, and the 40 other states where my cousin couldn’t have held his wedding.

Last week I told people I was going out of town for my cousin’s wedding. I could have told them I was going to D.C., one of only 10 places where gay marriage is legal, for my gay cousin’s gay wedding, but that wasn’t what mattered and shouldn’t be what matters.

I attended a beautiful wedding and witnessed the beginning of a wonderful marriage. Everyone everywhere should have the same chance to attend or host one — regardless of whom they love.

Marika Lee is a reporter for The Post. Email her at


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