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spiritual movement, I was not surprised by the vote. The religious right is
a very well oiled political machine in this country and change takes time.
The ban in interracial marriages was not struck down by the Supreme Court
until 1967, although it hadn't been enforced in most places for many years.
Because I feared the ban would pass, I reminded my congregation last Sunday
that "States don't marry people, people marry people. We define ourselves
based on the understanding that we are whole, perfect, and complete.
Lesbians and gay men have been marrying and creating loving families for
years and years and we will continue to do so before and after the state of
California catches up. Our spiritual practice right now is to be vigilant
in staying free from 'less than' thinking."
Despite such a fine speech from the pulpit, I find myself
uncharacteristically saddened today. I want to be happy for this country
because we elected the first African American President, a man who has
vision, strength, the skills necessary to restore our integrity in the world
and at home. I find, however, that I'm really having to work hard to be as
happy emotionally as I am intellectually. It's one thing to suspect that a
majority of voters don't want me to be visible in my truth as a lesbian,
it's another thing to have it affirmed so firmly with folks throwing parties
(covered by TV crews) to celebrate my disenfranchisement.
Here's what I want from straight allies: A recognition that domestic
partnership marriages don't have the same package of rights as civil
marriages. Prop 8 is not about getting dressed up and having a party with
same sex figurines on a cake. It's about the significant number of rights
and privileges afforded me in a domestic partnership that are afforded folks
who can get married, not the least of which is access to family courts
regarding losing custody of jointly raised children. I have personally
taken such a case through three lower courts to the California Supreme court
only to be told that I had no legal standing since I wasn't legally married
to my daughter's birth mother. There are many other tax benefits on the
federal side afforded married people.
The recognition that this must hurt. Thank you, Kathy, for encouraging
congregations to reach out with compassion and comfort.
Here's what I don't want from my straight allies: language that suggests
this is: all in God's time, everything is purposeful, all is a result of
consciousness, or anything bordering on my remarks from the pulpit above. I
think they need to be said and I'm glad Kathy reminded those of us in
ecclesiastical positions of the Truth, but in our communities, stay with
compassion and give Truth some time and, when it's time, let a gay person in
your congregation say it.