A commitment ceremony seems a bit old fashion now. Is used when there are no legal options allowed in your area. Otherwise it does look just like a wedding; candles music and cake. And many couples have found it to be surprisingly satisfying. It allows to same-sex people to make a public statement of their love and exchange vows. If one of your goals is to make a political statement, then a it can be just as useful as a statement. But if your goals are legal then it may fall a bit short of the mark.
The style of a commitment ceremony can be as elaborate or simple as you wish. Generally they follow the same forms as a wedding service. Because they are not legal ceremonies, you can have anyone you want officiate the marriage. Couples often look for someone and with a beautiful voice. You may look for someone who has a very vital gay marriage of their own. Whoever you pick, they must be able to stand in front of a crowd and speak clearly and comfortably. Some people may have a beautiful speaking voice but do a poor job public reading. So you may want to hear them read something before you decide. Someone whose profession includes standing up and speaking day in and day out may be the best choice. Church officials who might shy away from performing a gay marriage, can feel a little more comfortable with a commitment ceremony. This is largely because it does not use the word of marriage. You have to decide if that's good enough. After all, we would all like to have the legal rights more than the word.
If you're looking for an ordained religious leader, speak with a minister or rabbi from your congregation. If you don't belong to a congregation, or your faith doesn't perform same-sex ceremonies, consider visiting your local Unitarian Universalist, Universal Life or Metropolitan Community church, which support GLBT weddings. Also, remember that several faiths leave the choice up to individual clergy, including Episcopalian, some other Protestant, Buddhist, and Reform Judaism. Consult GLBT publications, community centers and the internet for religious officiants who will perform commitment ceremonies.
Commitment ceremonies may also be used in place of
the word marriage.
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