I, too, have loved the outpouring of support for marriage equality on Facebook. But I woke up this morning feeling oddly libertarian. (I hope that’s the right political persuasion.)
I woke up as I do every morning, next to my snoring lover, unless it’s the rare occasion when we have had a fight and one of us has escaped to the couch. I woke up embarrassed that nine Supreme Court justices are focused on my relationship as they publicly debate it’s legitimacy. It feels like this intense invasion of privacy.
And then I remember yesterday’s quote from a local radio talk show host about the gays forcing their agenda down the throats of the American people. Would that I had the luxury to roll over and hit the snooze alarm unnoticed.
Surprisingly, I understand how that radio talk show host feels. But let’s say we lived in a world where people who speak into microphones are historically considered an abomination. As a result, the government does not recognize the primary relationship in your life. You go to work, and other people talk about their wives or husbands, while you either keep you silence or refer to your lover (eww), or life-partner. You have dealt with this kind of thing most of your adult life. Suddenly, the entire country is talking about you. How do you feel? Wait! I don’t want to hear it. Stop your throat-cramming ways and shut up.
The road to equality isn’t an easy ride for anyone. But a little empathy can take us all a long way down that road.
“America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.
“I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.
“And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.
“Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.”
—President Barack Obama, November 7, 2012
Because, you know I was looking for one:
How about let’s plan a wedding instead:
Where was the United Methodist Church today? I only ask because it is the church I belong to. If it’s just slow to respond, could we get an official statements from the Annual Conference or Nashville District on this issue soon?
Click here to read the story at WSMV.
The Presbyterian Church-USA, one of the nation’s oldest and largest mainline Christian denominations, is in the middle of a crucial vote among its leadership to determine whether or not open homosexuals will be allowed to fill the church’s pulpits.
A bill before the Indiana legislature would amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
During hearings about the bill, supporters said it would preserve values; opponents said it would codify discrimination. Some people believe that homosexuality is immoral and that same-sex marriages should not be permitted. Others argue that same-sex marriage should be permitted because everyone has the right to be treated equally.
Which teachings in your faith tradition offer guidance?
Your 14, 16, or 18 year-old son or daughter comes home one day and says, “Mom [Dad]? I’m gay.”
The next thing you say and do matters. What’s it gonna be?
On February 15, 2011, the Nashville Metro Council passed bill that extends the existing non discrimination code to include sexual orientation. You can read more about the vote on the Nashville Public Radio web site.
The cause of Christ was defended when council member Jim Hodge spoke on behalf of many Christians everywhere and said:
“Jesus said it. Love your neighbor. He didn’t say endorse their lifestyle.”
Neighbor Hodge? I’m not feelin’ the love.
Isn’t it presumptuous for politicians to speak on behalf of Christians? On the other hand, if Christians allow politicians (or other Christians) to make statements like that on their behalf without protest or with passive silence, then I guess that makes it okay.
“What difference does it make,” you may ask? “The bill pass, didn’t it? What is there to get worked up about?”
I’m glad you asked. You see, this thing isn’t over. On the state level, Franklin Representative Glen Casada has filed a state bill to prevent local governments from passing non discrimination bills like the one the metro council passed. As I understand it, the bill is retroactive. You can read that proposed bill, here. Casada’s sponsorship of the bill makes his beliefs clear as he sits as chair of the State’s Health and Human Resources Committee.
On a personal note (as if none of this has been personal so far), while researching this post I discovered I can no longer in good conscious take my Toyota to Beaman to get an oil change. Let me explain.
On January 12, “a group of conservative business and political leaders gathered this morning for an informational meeting about the ‘homosexual agenda.’” They met to see what they could do about the impending expansion of the metro council’s non discrimination policy to include sexual orientation. Among those in attendance were Lee Beaman, Stan Hardaway, Walter Strickland, William Morgan, and Tom Smith. Rep. Jim Gotto and state Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin. Also in attendance was David Fowler, who leads a conservative activist group.
I haven’t looked up any of the other businessman names yet. But Beaman I recognized. He owns the dealership where I get my car serviced. How can I keep taking my car there? Surely he doesn’t want my gay money!
I can live with that. I really should be changing my own oil anyway. Doing it myself will save me money, and it’s so butch! But how far do I take this? I also learned that this anti non discrimination meeting took place at the LifeWay building in downtown Nashville. I workout at a local Baptist church because its got a fantastic gym and the membership fee is amazingly cheap. Now, LifeWay is God central for the Southern Baptist Church. Do I have to quit going to my gym now, too?
I’m going to keep going for now, however, because I have a plan. Several weeks ago, I contributed to the It Gets Better Project. For my contribution, I’m supposed to get a t-shirt with the campaign logo on it. When the t-shirt finally arrives, I’m going to wear it to the Baptist church gym. I’m going to wear it as often as I can. If nothing happens, cool. If one day I’m escorted from the building, even cooler.
This post has gotten crazy long. But I have to point out, just in case you missed it, what has happened here. I’ve gone from being mildly concerned about a statement a politician made regarding a piece of legislation in a city where I don’t even live (I’m in a neighboring county), to boycotting a car dealership, to potentially leaving the gym I’ve gone to five days a week for over four years.
This stuff matters. It matters a great deal. But it only matters when somebody else starts this crap! Give me rights like everyone else, and I’ll shut up.