Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Find More Courage"

As Barack Obama delivered his magnificent victory speech on election night, he began a now-familiar refrain:

It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled.

Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.
Obama's desire for unity, his acknowledgment and respect for all of us--not just some of us--always captivated and comforted me. I was hungry for that, particularly after the divisiveness and polarization of the last eight years, and the war.

On Election Day, over 5 million Californians voted to support second-class status for same-sex couples in the Golden State, via passage of the discriminatory Proposition 8.

In what way is anti-equality a good thing? What of love and commitment? Are we still worried about "sin?" As for Christianity, it's evolving. The tired rhetoric condemning homosexuality is often rejected by today's Christians; seen as dated, stale, simplistic--entirely inappropriate for a living, breathing faith and spiritual practice.

Standing up for what's right is often unpopular, uncomfortable, or
even dangerous.

We have a responsibility to each other--even if we don't want to marry a same-sex partner; even if we're not Californian. The words of American civil rights leader Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) remind us that

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.

A blogger at BlueNC suggests "those that silently sympathize" need to "find more courage." He's right.

Let's rise to the challenge. Please join me Saturday, November 15, as we stand up for marriage equality and make our voices heard. For more information, visit Join the Impact to find specifics on local protest locations everywhere.

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