As you know, the opposition to LGBT equality often paints itself as religiously motivated, leading the media-entertainment industry to promote a meme of gays v Christians. Well, WE all know that's not true.... but after years of abuse at the hands of those sorts of Christians, the LGBT community often runs leery of faith. So over at my other blog, Gay Married Californian, I run a series called "Voices of Faith Speak Out" to highlight LGBT-supportive members of faith communities. I'll get back to that in a minute.
Recently, you may have heard the heartwarming yet bittersweet story of two elderly ladies in Iowa, who after 70 years together, got married. They had lived pretty much in the closet for most of their lives. Don't ask Don't tell. There's a wonderful profile in the Des Moines Register, and I encourage you to read it. This is the bittersweet part. After their wedding,
"I began to hear them addressing each other as 'sweetie' or 'dear' which they had never done before in public," he said. "They had learned to live with their heads down so long. And now they don't have to live with their heads down."Exactly. When we are who we are, it's hard to demonize us as the other. And when you've had to wait so long and work so hard for the right to marry your partner, well, as a writer in the HuffPo puts it,
if proponents of traditional marriage are truly worried about sanctity, doesn't taking marriage away from those who likely revere it the most -- the same-sex couples like my brother and his husband whose ceremonies are far more focused on the extreme gratitude over their ability to be legally recognized in marriage than the cosmetic details of the day -- seem to contradict what they are after?Meanwhile, back at our Iowa lesbians, who married in the church where they have been worshiping since 1947. It is the first same sex marriage in that church. The article continues,
"It's Vivian and Nonie," [the Rev] Hunsaker said of the decision to marry them. "They had been in the church since 1947. They had been deacons and in the choir. We thought of them as a couple. Nobody asked them, but you can't not know. In the church directory, they have their picture together.
"When you don't know somebody, it's easy to make statements about right and wrong. But when you know someone, have a relationship with them, which is what God wants, you want the best for them."Ah, that's the thing. When you have a relationship with someone, which is what God wants, you want what's best for them. It's not two strangers on the TV. It's Vivian and Nonie. Well of course.
"So many wonderful people in our lives were there, people that knew about us but loved us still," Vivian said. "God brought us to this point. We don't know why..."And that is a prime example of why LGBT folk coming out as gay is important. And not only that, why it is so important that Christians to come out as LGBT allies.
Meanwhile, congratulations to those dear sweet ladies. Marriage doesn't change anything, but yet it changes everything. I know.