This is the July fourth issue of Letters from CAMP Rehoboth, and the days leading up to its publication have been dramatic ones. The Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage will make this 4th of July an especially joyful occasion. Here at CAMP Rehoboth, the party started early on June 26, and continued at intervals throughout the day—and the weekend! In our efforts to achieve equality, we’ve certainly had high points before—especially in states like Delaware where we already have marriage rights—but there is a huge amount of satisfaction in seeing marriage equality become available to all Americans.
I was going to quote a sentence from the Obergefell v. Hodges opinion of the Court, but decided to go with the full closing paragraph. It says it all: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.”
From the funerals in Charleston to the court’s ruling on Obamacare, same sex marriage was not the only historic event in the news the last week in July. President Obama’s eulogy for South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney was one of the most powerful speeches of his presidency. “Clem understood that justice grows out of recognition of ourselves in each other,” he said. “That my liberty depends on you being free, too. That history can’t be a sword to justify injustice, or a shield against progress, but must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past—how to break the cycle. A roadway toward a better world.” Yes, this was a historic week: even the Confederate flag was taken down from the Alabama statehouse grounds!
June 26—the day the Supreme Court issued its marriage ruling—was also the first day of our first annual CAMP Rehoboth Family Pride CAMP Weekend. The day began with cheers and toasts and rainbow balloons and ended with gay families—kids and adults—playing games, dancing, and laughing together in the big room of the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. It was a joyful day! Congratulations to the CAMP Rehoboth Family Pride co-chairs David Salie, Mark Bromley, and Tara Sheldon, and to Janet Layden and Sue Fortier of Stars on 9 Dance Center and Fortier Photography for their amazing activities and photo booth—and to Mike Furnari and Family Pride CAMP sponsor Merrill Lynch. Even with the less than perfect weather it was a wonderful time.
Though Memorial weekend is the official start of the summer season, July Fourth weekend is when Rehoboth really gets hot! The 6 Futcher Pool Party benefit for CAMP Rehoboth is July 4 (rain date, July 5). Fay Jacobs returns to the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center in Aging Gracelessly: 50 Shades of Fay on July 11 and 12. Well-Strung, the singing string quartet, returns to the RB Convention Center with a brand new show on July 25. The Sundance 5K is August 30, and our biggest event of the summer, Sundance, is September 5 and 6. Don’t forget we’re signing up Sundance Sponsors and Hosts right now, so send in Sundance forms by mid-July or go to the CAMP Rehoboth website and sign up online. Have a fantastic summer!