today, i started working on Something Significant - one of my very best friends is getting married this summer, & i offered to knit her a wedding shawl.
part of the impetus behind this huge project is because my friend is a caring, kind, intelligent, endearingly neurotic, wonderful person who i'm lucky to know, and i wanted a way to mark this important event in her life - so, as a knitter, a wedding shawl was the obvious answer. but partly, it was for slightly selfish reasons - i've always wanted to knit a traditional shetland wedding shawl, and was just waiting for a good reason.
& as i started this Very Important Project, i started thinking about this "good reason". because in my mind, a wedding shawl needs a wedding. & although i knitted myself a shawl years ago for my civil partnership ceremony, i didn't knit a wedding shawl, because i wasn't getting married. to make a long story short: since 2004, same-sex couples in the UK can register for a civil "partnership", while opposite-sex couples have a civil "marriage".
since last fall, the UK government has been consulting on extending "marriage" to same-sex couples as well, conceding that the current policy of "separate-but-equal" is discriminatory. & although the government has been careful to state that no religious institution will be compelled to offer same-sex marriage ceremonies, there was an immediate and quite horrible backlash from various senior religious figures.
as someone in a civil partnership, of course i'm taking these kinds of comments personally - it's hard not to, when your relationship is being described as a “grotesque subversion” (thanks a bunch, Cardinal O'Brien!). & although i've never really been a big-white-wedding kind of girl, it would be nice to think that my relationship was recognised as having the same importance as that of my brother & his wife, or my friend & her soon-to-be husband.
i don't mean this in any way to take away from the Very Important Event of my friend's wedding - i'm so excited & happy for her, and am so honoured that i get to be a little part of the Very Important Event, and show how much i care about her life, by knitting her a wedding shawl.
but, someday, it might be nice to be knitting a wedding shawl for myself too.