Cheers to Gay Marriage

* Church correct to allow homosexual commitment nuptials

After an officious process of deliberation, the Board of Ministry of Memorial Church has recommended to the Minister in the Memorial Church Peter J. Gomes, who has recommended to President Neil L. Rudenstine, who has given his tacit approval, that the performance of same-sex "marriages" ought to be allowed in Mem Church.

The Church hierarchy deserves credit for extending the non-discrimination policies of the University to its own domain. But it deserves rebuke for not releasing the exact contents of its recommendations-the product of a task force and the basis for much future University policy-to the community. It is also unfortunate that the decision required such lengthy discussion when fellow Ivy League universities such as Brown have been allowing such ceremonies for years.

In any case, last year's campus debate over the issue has been resolved in the right. Memorial Church is now thankfully open to same-sex commitment ceremonies, which are also known as marriages in states which recognize the institution for gay men and lesbians.

Though Massachusetts has made a hypothetical commitment to honor homosexual marriages performed in states where they are practiced, this state has shied away from making gay marriage legal. Only Hawaii has given lukewarm support to homosexual marriage, having strongly considered giving the same benefits to them as heterosexual couples receive. Other states should follow Hawaii's example and exceed it.

But in the meantime, commitment ceremonies are the next best things, and gays in the Harvard community ought to have the same rights as heterosexuals to partake of them. We hope to see the new policy at work, and we anxiously await the first such upcoming nuptials.