Shuck and Jive

Friday, November 20, 2009

Power of Two

Exciting news this week is that a Presbyterian minister got married.
Laurie A. McNeill, pastor of Central Church in Montclair, N.J., informed her session on Oct. 13 and also mailed a letter to members of her congregation that day, and was married on Cape Cod on Oct. 17, her grandmother’s birthday.
And she told the good news to her presbytery:
On Nov. 14, McNeill stood during the announcements time of a meeting of Newark Presbytery and informed her colleagues in ministry that she had recently married. “Rejoice with me, for I have found a companion with whom to share my life!”
The happy couple met a couple of years ago:
About two years ago, McNeill met Lisa Gollihue, a trial attorney, through an online dating service. Much to her surprise, because McNeill had been skeptical about such things, “it really was love at the beginning. There was a powerful connection that was just ridiculous.”
Wait. Huh? What was that? Laurie married Lisa?
McNeill said she told the session that she was getting married “and there will be no groom at the wedding. There was sort of this look — `You are gay. You are gay!’ ”
Cheese and crackers! What did her session do?
Later during that meeting, she said, the session voted unanimously to support McNeill in her decision and to affirm her ministry at Central Church.
How about that!
McNeill and Gollihue were married on Oct. 17 at Christ Church Cathedral in Harwich Port, Mass., on Cape Cod. Earlier, they had approached the governing board of that congregation and asked for permission to marry there, which the vestry did grant.
What will the busybodies say?
In marrying someone of the same gender, “you’re doing something that’s in direct violation of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which you took a vow to uphold,” Leggett said. And marriage vows are “serious vows. Those vows are contradictory. I don’t know where that leaves her.”
Ho hum. They are so predictable. They will probably try to cause a stink.
As for McNeill, she is not sure what will come next.

What she does know is that, at age 49, she has married for the first time, and is thrilled.
All of us at Shuck and Jive are thrilled for you! Congratulations Laurie and Lisa!


  1. Congratulations!!! It surely will be a beautiful day when someone says "Nancy and Susan are getting married" and people only think "What should I wear and what gift should I buy. I hope they are happy." I would like to see that in my lifetime.


  2. Yes, indeed! Congratulations on creating yet another positive, nurturing, loving family!

  3. My first thought when I read the story was a practical one. I thought you had to be a resident of MA to get married there. Did they change the rules? Or can residency be established in a short period of time?

  4. Way to celebrate with joy for the happy couple, Bob! I know a lot of people thought the same thing when my husband and I got married.

  5. Larry King to gay activist, Mel White:

    "Once they find out you are as boring as we are, it's all over."

  6. Just in case anyone cares besides anal retentive me MA repealed its residency requirement for marriage in 2008. Prior to that you had to be a resident of MA or RI or (here's a curious one) NM to get married in MA. If you were a resident of NY you could get married in MA prior to July 6, 2006 (why that changed I have no idea). Now even people from NY can get married in MA.

    And there is a 3 day waiting period between filing a Notice of Intention of Marriage and getting your license. That's 3 days not counting the day you file the notice.

    If you want to take your partner's name it is recommended that you say so on the Notice of Intention of Marriage Form because if you don't a court will charge you $165.00 to do so later. A person in a same sex marriage can now change his/her name on his/her passport, which was not allowed before May 27, 2009. (GLAD filed and won a case)

    And if you want your out of state pastor to do the wedding the pastor can apply either before the wedding or after for a application and 2 certificates but the pastor (or any other religious - imam, rabbi or whatever) can't apply more than 4 weeks before the wedding.

    Aren't marriage laws strange? The officiant can apply to perform a wedding after the wedding is done. What's up with that?

    I found one thing that really surprised me - I guess I'm naive. Even if you get married in MA and live there all the 1138 benefits from the Feds one might gain by getting married don't apply because of the defense of marriage act.

    I got all this info at the GLAD site on marriage in MA. In case anyone wants to get marriage in MA the site is:

    Ain't it wonderful what you can find on the internet?

  7. Excellent news. Yes, the busybodies, tattletales, fusspots and scolds will retire to their fainting couches with a nasty case of the vapors, no doubt, but the people that know them love and support them, and that's what really matters (in spite of the BTFS rather inflated sense of self-importance.)