Julie's a dear, long-term family friend. She decided that New Year's Day was a wonderful time to marry in Los Angeles (my opinion differs, but it was her wedding). We wouldn't miss it, so off we flew into the holiday travel chaos, and enjoyed being with Julie and her family, the new friends on husband Bobby's side (he's FBI, so no security concerns), and renewed ties with other LA friends.
Julie for years had a high-level admin job with University Synagogue, so the rabbi was an old buddy and of course he was going to perform the rites. My knowledge of the various branches of Judaism is quite skimpy, but was aware that Julie and family were not members of the stricter branches, so assumed that she was Reformed rather than Orthodox or Conservative. Since it turned out that her wedding was to be held at Big Daddy's Antique Furniture store, it was clear that the rabbi shared her open world view.
Even with this background I was still more than a little surprised when, during the ceremony, the rabbi's speech got to "... so when a man and a woman come together ...," he added "... or a man and a man or a woman and a woman ..." Wow! That was a surprise! Especially when there were before him, one obvious man and one unmistakable woman. So the inclusive added phrases were clearly to define the general parameters, and formed part of the rabbi's core beliefs.
Later, at other wedding get-togethers (we probably went to about six different gatherings) I was able to discuss this with people more knowledgeable than I (pretty much anyone there), and got some enlightenment. Bobby's father put it like this: "You have to understand that in Judaism there is no Vatican." Meaning that rabbis have great latitude in deciding these issues - something that the larger Christian sects usually don't allow. Even the non-Vatican branches usually have someone at the top deciding issues of faith.
So my education continues - and I'd like to know more about this, too.