. . . . that hasn't been said, opined, or protested?
I mean, it wasn't like we hadn't been prepared for it. All the activists had been telling us for months not to get our hopes up.
Not on this one.
Not this time.
I left the house this morning at 6:30 AM and didn't return until 6:30 PM - a full and wonderful pastoral day.
I remembered to light a candle and say a prayer during my morning devotions, but I confess that my prayer was that the LGBT community and our allies would find within them the strength needed to continue the fight . . . in California, and, state by bloody state until the civil rights promised to every citizen - including LGBT people - were finally granted to us.
Turns out, my prayers were answered.
Oh, I heard all the news on all the radio stations as the news broke. I've heard all the soundbites - from the left, right and middle - and I've taken some time to read and reflect.
I mean, it's not like I don't have a dog in this hunt. Thirty-three years with the same woman, six kids, and five grandkids ain't exactly chopped liver, you know?
I'd like to know that I can travel from state to state, or even choose to retire to another state, and still have - AT THE VERY LEAST - the same rights and privileges guaranteed to me in the State of NJ.
After all is said and done, I am left feeling proud of our leaders. The statement from IntegritUSA absolutely shimmers with intelligence and dignity, grace and strength. There is unquestionable resolve to 'keep on keepin' on' in this struggle.
The statements from our allies, the Bishop of Los Angeles and All Saints', Pasadena are bold and strong in their commitment to continue to stand with us in the struggle for marriage equality.
I am left feeling hopeful, and not just because the California Supreme Court decision didn't say with the Prop8 proponents thought it did.
Well, check out what John Culhane says on The Daily Dish.
Or, The Daily KOS
Or, read what IT has to say at Friends of Jake, who writes this:
Think about it. This means that there must be state forms that include the DP'd folks: "Single or Married/unioned". This means that kids will learn that there are marriages and DPs in school, and yes, teacher may invite them to her wedding (because they didn't take the name wedding, just the name "marriage"). This means that under law, GLBT "whatever you call its" WILL be treated the same as "marriage" .
Prop8 is still wrong, of course, and the court did fail. We must over turn it. But I wonder how long it takes The Forces of H8 to figure out that they didn't really succeed doing what they thought they were doing.
If you are of a mind, you can read the actual court decision here and decide for yourself.
Or, read Justice Moreno's dissenting opinion wherein he states
"In my view, the aim of Proposition 8 and all similar initiative measures that seek to alter the California Constitution to deny a fundamental right to a group that has historically been subject to discrimination on the basis of a suspect classification, violates the essence of the equal protection clause of the California Constitution and fundamentally alters its scope and meaning."
So, yes, I'm hopeful. And no, not just because of what MLK, Jr. has famously said about the arc of justice being long, but always bending toward justice.
I'm hopeful because freedom and equality are the cornerstone's of this country's foundation. As John Culhane points out, "all that's been removed by Prop 8 is the word 'marriage' rather than the rights that go with it".
I'm hopeful because God's Rainbow Tribe is nothing if not resilient. No, we won't back down
I'm hopeful because, as one person said, "Our love didn't begin with a court decision and it won't end with one either."
I'm hopeful because, well, as my dear friend, Bill Urban, one of the most courageous fairies I've even known who fought the good fight and now rests eternally in the arms of Jesus, used to say, "Being gay ain't for sissies."
This isn't the worst thing that's happened to our community, and it won't be the last discrimination we'll experience, even after we have gained marriage equality.
We LGBT people, God's Rainbow Tribe, are the last line drawn in the sands of discrimination. It's a hard line, to be sure, but we need to remember that, in the end, it is made of sand.
Fifteen states already have some form of marriage equality - including California. We've got thirty-five more to go.
That's a lot of work ahead of us, children.
So, let's dry our tears, blow our noses, pick up our socks and get back to work.
As we - well, some of us of a 'certain age' - used to sing, "O Freedom! Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around."
Let's let that anthem be tonight's lullaby.