Jack Evans and George Harris have been together 53 years. On March 1, they’re getting married. Finally.
Evans and Harris are members of Northaven United Methodist Church but because of a ban on same-sex marriages within the denomination, their ceremony will take place at Midway Hills Christian Church. That church belongs to Disciples of Christ, which recognizes same-sex marriages.
The Rev. Bill McElvaney will preside. He’s a retired Methodist minister who served many years at Northaven and always welcomed the LGBT community when some other Methodist churches in the area didn’t.
The controversy in the Methodist Church gained national attention last fall when the Rev. Frank Schaefer was defrocked after a church trial that found him guilty of performing his son’s wedding.
Schaefer recently appeared in Dallas and suggested that a way to change church policy is for 1,000 ministers to perform same-sex weddings. He said his trial was budgeted at $100,000, and the church couldn’t afford to try 1,000 ministers and can’t afford to lose that many ministers.
Evans said they sent out about 100 invitations and are putting together a reception with just a few weeks’ notice. Members of Northaven stepped up to help. One is taking care of the catering, and another member is taking care of the flowers, Evans said.
“We’re doing this more to support Bill in his efforts,” Evans said. “It’s more about him than us.”
Whoever it’s about, friends will gather to celebrate the relationship of two men who have worked for equality throughout their lives and served on numerous boards in the LGBT community including Resource Center, Turtle Creek Chorale, Black Tie Dinner and, most recently, The Dallas Way.
They said they had no plans to hyphenate their names after they marry and didn’t think being married would change things too much.
Well, maybe some.
“It does get better,” Evans said. “We’re counting on that.”