Friday, May 18, 2007

privilege and honor and rights

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to celebrate the 1,000 signer of the Religious Declaration of the Freedom to Marry in Massachusetts, sponsored by the Religious Coalition For The Freedom To Marry The signer was the Right Reverend Gayle Davis, The Episcopal Bishop Suffragen of the Massachusetts Diocese. One very dignified and cool and courageous woman, if you ask me. For me, the event was amazing and inspiring...Governor Patrick showed up as did the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, all who spoke passionately about working together to NOT allow a vote on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as strictly between a woman and man. There were a good many state legislators there, which was heartening. I was particularly moved by the presence of the lineage of clergy who founded this movement and took stands for the freedom to marry in places and congregations and cities where they stood in defiance with their denominations or religious groups as well as public opinion...I am grateful. Humbled and grateful.

And yes, I contacted my legislators, one of which thinks it is fine to put minority rights against public opinion. Unfortunately, one of the things we as a human race do not do well at en masse is protect those who have less power.
I am not so sure why my marriage is such a threat to others or the moral fabric of the country. Even if it were, it is not the job of the government to legislate morality, but it is the job of the government to protect the civil rights of its citizens. I love this quote from Thomas Merton on Sojourner's daily email:

I have the immense joy of being [human], a member of a race in which God became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.
- Thomas Merton
from Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

In any was a privilege to get to be there, to sign the document myself, and to see democracy in action.