Saturday, November 8, 2008

And still we rise

I posted this in a thread over at Susan Russell's, which has since gone off the front page. I liked it, and wanted it read, so I have edited it here slightly for you.

(letter to Hiram, a Prop8 advocate):
It's quite offensive that you assume that there is anything less than permanent in my marriage than in yours, simply because of the gender of my beloved. The bigotry of this view may arise from fear, ignorance, or hatred, or some combination thereof.

But denying my faithful, long term relationship the benefits and responsibilities of civil marriage is simple bigotry.

Either way, whether you deprive us of the piece of paper or not, we're married in reality. You can't stop that. You can't eliminate us, or drive us into hiding.

We are your neighbors. We teach your children. We work in your office. We are your doctor, your lawyer, your grocery clerk, your taxi driver. My wife's picture is on my desk, and mine on hers. You and your children see it there when you come in my office.

We are in the PTA. We go to the supermarket and kids' soccer games together. We hold hands. Our children are friends with yours. Your daughter may date my son. We may sit near you at graduation. And some of us even go to church, and stand next to you in the pew.

In the face of all your bigotry and attempt to marginalize us, to make us smaller, we are here, bearing the witness of what marriage is, through better or worse, in sickness or in health, as long as we both shall live.

Oh my, Hiram, can you imagine the degree of commitment to marriage that endures despite the ignorance and bile of people like you? Despite every effort you make to tear us apart, to disenfranchise and abuse us, to desecrate what we hold sacred, we endure, and still we rise.

It makes you rather small, doesn't it? Bigotry generally does have that effect.

12 comments:

JCF said...

All that's missing is a stole, for you to be one hell of a preacher, IT! ;-)

Lynn said...

...can you imagine the degree of commitment to marriage that endures despite the ignorance and bile of people like you? Despite every effort you make to tear us apart, to disenfranchise and abuse us, to desecrate what we hold sacred, we endure, and still we rise.

Tell 'em, sister!

kitty said...

Well said, IT. A very powerful and moving statement.

May you and your Beloved have many more years of married bliss.

James said...

all that's missing is a stole

Well, in IT's case, perhaps a wand? LOL

Very well said, IT. It reminded me of the RC hymn "We will rise again" by David Haaus.

1. Like a shepherd I will feed you; I will gather you with care.
I will lead you and hold you close to my heart.

Refrain : We will run and not grow weary, for our God will be our strength,
and we will fly like the eagle, we will rise again.

2. I am strength to the weary; to the weak I am new life.
Find More lyrics at www.sweetslyrics.com
Though the young may grow weary, I will be their hope.

3. Lift up your eyes, and see who made the stars.
I lead you, and I know you, I call you each by name.

4. Fear not, I am with you; I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; uphold you with my hand.

Anonymous said...

Thank you James. I was thinking of Maya Angelou, hence the link.

We used a David Haas hymn at our wedding ("wherever you go")

By the way, the "wand" analogy is inaccurate. I'm an atheist, you know, not a pagan, or a Wiccan, or a magician.

IT

JCF said...

Ah, but your a scientist, IT, and all science is MAGIC! *LOL*

dr.primrose said...

According to a late posting today on the Los Angeles Times website -- Schwarzenegger tells backers of gay marriage: Don't give up. The governor expresses hope that Proposition 8 would be overturned as protesters continue to march outside churches across California.

The article says in part:

*****

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today expressed hope that the California Supreme Court would overturn Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that outlawed same-sex marriage. He also predicted that the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who have already married would not be affected by the initiative.

"It's unfortunate, obviously, but it's not the end," Schwarzenegger said in an interview on CNN this morning. "I think that we will again maybe undo that, if the court is willing to do that, and then move forward from there and again lead in that area."

***

The governor's comments came as protesters took to the streets for a fifth day in a row, sometimes marching to Catholic and Mormon churches that supported passage of the ballot measure with public pronouncements and campaign donations.

Hundreds of protesters gathered down the hills from Saddleback Church, an evangelical mega-church in the Orange County city of Lake Forest, to speak out against Proposition 8. As several thousand congregants attended services inside the church, passing motorists nearby beeped horns in support to demonstrators waving placards that read, "Equal Rights" and "You Cannot Vote Away Civil Rights." The protesters had disbursed by early afternoon.

In Los Angeles, 75 protesters showed up to a demonstration at Lincoln Park on the city's Eastside. They were outnumbered by police, soccer players and children enjoying the park. But organizers called their Lincoln Heights event a triumph, saying the largely Latino community had seen very few protests over Proposition 8.

"My optimistic projection was 25 people," said Robert Olivares of the Latino/Latina LGBT Coalition. "We're hoping that eventually 300 people will show up. For us, that's beyond a success."

In Oakland, a swarm of protesters at the city's Mormon temple prompted the California Highway Patrol to close two nearby highway ramps.

Other demonstrations were planned today outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles and at other churches in La Jolla and Palm Desert.

********

I happened to be driving by the Roman Catholic cathedral in Los Angeles awhile ago. There was quite a crowd protesting. The street was blocked off and filled with people and there were people spilling over onto the property of the County Hall of Administration, which across the street.

David said...

Good to hear the Governator's comments. Not every sort of Republican are bad people all the time ;)

But you won't get ol' Hiram to give an inch. I've been reading his screeds since the days of the 2003 General Convention on the old Every Voice website, and he's a very bitter, angry, and obsessed person. Claims to be a priest, too. I can't imagine what it would be like to be under the pastoral "care" of someone like that :/

Anonymous said...

I didn't write it to persuade Hiram, David. I know better than that....but maybe someone else who is lurking will think about it.

IT

dr.primrose said...

The L.A. Times has posted some pictures from the various protests. Here's my favorite by far -- http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-protest10-pg,0,2952633.photogallery?index=6

I'm going to spoil your view by telling you what it shows. This was taken on a sidewalk near the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Cathedral. There's one guy with a sign that has the usual theologically illiterate clap-trap -- "Homosexuality: Hate the Sin; Love the Sinner."

Next to him is a guy with a counter-sign -- "Hate the Bigotry; Love the Bigot."

Somebody ought to make T-shirts!!

Joe Moderate said...

Wow, IT, this is powerful. Beautifully spoken!

...can you imagine the degree of commitment to marriage that endures despite the ignorance and bile of people like you? Despite every effort you make to tear us apart, to disenfranchise and abuse us, to desecrate what we hold sacred, we endure, and still we rise.

Lisa Fox said...

Well said, IT!

Love that poem!