Skip to comments.An Episcopal Love Story (NYT now covering gay marriages)
Posted on 11/21/2005 2:33:54 AM PST by NYer
Mr. Finley, left, and Mr. McGee.
WHEN informed of their son's decision to take up with Carl Stanley McGee, a lawyer from Alabama, the family of John Huston Finley IV, a Bostonian, was dismayed, but not about the fact he was in a serious relationship with another man.
"My parents were far more upset that Stan was a Hilary Clinton-supporting Democrat than they were about us," Mr. Finley said. "I remember them asking Stan a lot of 'coming out' type questions: 'Maybe you didn't have a good Republican experience? Have you told your parents how you feel?' "
They were introduced by a mutual friend nearly 10 years ago. "Our first date was at a monastery," said Mr. McGee, who is 36 and known as Stan, recalling their meeting at a service at the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Mass.
"Stan thought it was a very bizarre gay date, but we were both interested in theology," said Mr. Finley, now 35 and a candidate for ordination in the Episcopal Church. "When the monk came by with the holy water I saw Stan take what I assumed was a deep and profoundly pious bow. Later I realized it was because he was wearing a suede waistcoat which he didn't want to get stained."
The affably preppy Mr. Finley, who is also the founder and the director of the Epiphany School, a private, tuition-free middle school in Boston for children of poor families, has a classic New England pedigree, which includes a degree from Harvard, where his grandfather was a master of Eliot House. His family, he said, was staunchly Republican "until the second Bush administration."
The bespectacled Mr. McGee is a Harvard Law School graduate and a former Rhodes scholar who now works as a junior partner in the Boston offices of WilmerHale. He has a serious mien, a booming drawl and a shock of prematurely white hair. His passion for Democratic politics is rooted in the Deep South, and he has long been interested in the "pernicious connection" between church and state, he said.
"John had more of a sense of faith being a positive force," Mr. McGee said. Yet, of the two, he says Mr. Finley "is more impetuous, more Gestalt, more big picture." He added, "We're more yin-yang, more complementary, than opposites. John's all sugar and I'm all lemon zest."
Religion, the Constitution and confectionery ingredients notwithstanding, the day after their first date Mr. McGee sent Mr. Finley a dozen red roses; Mr. Finley sent Mr. McGee two dozen.
A month later, while driving down Storrow Drive in Cambridge, they first spoke of their feelings for each other. "It felt right from the very beginning," Mr. Finley said. "The affection I felt radiated back to me." Mr. McGee agreed: "There was a sense of completeness I felt with John that I'd never experienced before."
Eventually their relationship came to include a weekly visit with the Finley family in Brookline. "Stan's mother had dinner at our house once," recalled Mr. Finley, who, unlike Mr. McGee, had revealed his leanings to his family at age 13. "Everyone but her knew at that point that Stan was gay. When we walked into the dining room where a portrait of my grandmother hangs, she turned to me and said: 'Your grandmother is very beautiful.' I said, 'With a fur and pearls I could look just as beautiful.' From behind the bar came a crash; Stan had dropped a tray of oysters."
Politics aside, both families were never anything but fully accepting of the relationship, Mr. Finley and Mr. McGee both said. "My mother was the first of her circle to send out a Christmas card with a gay partner included," Mr. Finley said.
In time they were sharing an apartment in Boston and making plans to wed under Massachusetts law.
"Stan and John are deeply conservative and old fashioned and traditional in every way," said Jennifer Bradley, a college friend of Mr. McGee's. So a civil marriage ceremony paired with a religious service was planned at the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, the Episcopal parish where Mr. Finley's family are longtime members.
On Nov. 12, their wedding day, the couple greeted guests in front of the church. Friends and family watched from candlelit pews as Mr. Finley and Mr. McGee walked down the aisle holding hands.
State Senator Jarrett T. Barrios, who received permission from the state to officiate, led the civil ceremony, pronouncing to thunderous applause that the couple were "fully and legally married." The Right Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, then presided over the Eucharist.
That the couple decided on a wedding in the classic mold came as no surprise to those who know them. Neither did the black-tie reception at the Brandegee House, an estate they had rented in Brookline. After a dinner for 250 in an elaborately decorated and heated tent on the grounds, guests filed into the mansion's ballroom, and danced as a 14-piece orchestra played swing.
Somehow everything old seemed new again. As Ms. Bradley said of the marriage, "Seeing people who have been locked out of it makes you appreciate it more."
Mr. McGee's mother, Inell, sat with State Senator Jarrett T. Barrios at the reception.
Yeah, sure. They probably met in a public restroom somewhere.
Just the thing to start the week..
Let's give it up for a sterile, unnatural relationship!
Liberal Episcopalianism run amok. No wonder they are losing flocks.
and did they have "cute little pink penises" at all the tables?
<<"Stan and John are deeply conservative and old fashioned and traditional in every way," >>
yeah sure. we've heard that before from gay couples.
No, he most certainly did not.
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15
Oh, well. Perhaps it's better if I didn't eat breakfast, after all.
* retch *
Truth is unbending. The Catholic Church will NEVER sanction gay marriage. I praise God every day that He blessed me with the Catholic faith.
This needs a double barf alert.
It's still sodomy.
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