Kennedy quotation used in same-sex weddings waning in popularity

A Montgomery County reverend says it seemed to peak in 2015.

Hadas Kuznits
June 29, 2018 - 1:38 pm
Same-sex marriage cake topper, two grooms
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — As Justice Anthony Kennedy prepares to retire this summer, a Montgomery County reverend shares her take on how the couples she marries view his Supreme Court opinion on same-sex marriage. 

Rev. Pamela Brehm was the first officiant in her county to legally marry two men in 2015 after the court made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. She said she remembers clearly the rush of same-sex couples who wished to marry that year.

"Because they never thought in their lifetime they'd be able to marry the person that they love," Brehm said.

She says the final paragraph of Kennedy's affirmative opinion on the issue of marriage equality has become a popular reading at ceremonies, as he was seen to be the deciding vote.

"I've used Justice Kennedy's quote reguarding marriage several times in same-sex ceremonies and once or twice in wedding ceremonies for straight couples, also," Brehm said.

"It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it; respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves," it read in part. "They ask for dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

Reverend Brehm says use of this quotation seemed to peak in 2015 and has dwindled in popularity a bit over the years.

"I found it to be quite popular once the federal ruling came down reguarding marriage equality," she said. "Most recently, within the last couple of years, I'm finding that same-sex couples don't really want to use that quote, because they don't want to differentiate themselves from any other couple who can get married."