Friday, June 13, 2008

Where there's a will there's a way

Hot on the California Supreme Court's legalizing of same-sex marriages, at least two county clerks in that state have said they will no longer perform marriages, although they will still issue licenses -- to both straight and gay couples.

The clerks claim the gay-rights issue has nothing to do with their decision, that it's a budgetary move. Pardon me, but that's horseapples. There's considerable evidence one of them has been in e-mail touch on the subject with a hard-right religious group.

And refusing to tie the knot for anybody just to spite some folks smacks of heaving unborn babies out with the bath water.

Happily, Californians are nothing if not resourceful.

Heather Lyon, owner of the Lyon Bookstore in Chino, has announced that she has become an ordained minister of two Internet "churches" -- the Universal Life Church "and, for good measure, the Church of Spiritual Humanism.

"I am prepared to perform non-religious wedding ceremonies here at Lyon Books for any couples who are ready to get hitched. While for some, a church is the best choice of a wedding site, I hope others will appreciate that special bookstore ambience. For me, being surrounded by the wisdom of the ages, new ideas, and the smell of books fills me with optimism and hope for the future. And a wedding is an act of optimism, a leap of faith, a commitment to a partner and the future. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a wedding appointment. Who wants to go first?"

Bravo, Ms. Lyon, and not just for doing the right thing. This is what a full-service independent bookstore is all about. A good one is a temple, a tabernacle, to intellectual freedom and human rights.

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