Idaho and Marriage Equality
Two quick reflections on tonight’s federal court judge decision in Idaho throwing out the ban on same gender marriage (story here).
1) One small step; one giant leap. The Governor’s statements aren’t a surprise and remind us that the entrenched conservatives will fight this to the end and then probably even more. (Much like they will continue injustice beyond the grave.) This is still a small step towards making this state open to marriage equality and full rights of LGBTQ persons. Life will not be safe in Idaho for these neighbors tomorrow just because of this decision. And yet… this is still a vital and major leap towards the day when that will no longer be the case. “By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)
2) In both Revelation and the apocalyptic visions of Daniel 7 “the Beast” is actually easily “defeated” by God. However, in the Beast’s “death throws” it continues to plague the world. It seems to me at this point the injustice of refusing to defend LGBTQ persons as equals under the law, and to recognize their marriages as binding under the State is dead. Its death throws are still horrific. Its death throws still cause real and tragic consequences. But know this: this injustice is dead. We just won’t all admit it yet, and often this is the most dangerous time for the victims of such injustice.
Just last night I was part of an Interfaith Service of Lament and Hope for another year (after many years) of failure to get Idaho’s legislature to Add the Words (sexual orientation and gender identity) to the Idaho Human Rights Act. As much pain as we heard in that service… I was struck by how palpable the hope was also. So many lives lost, so many more people willing to put their lives on the line for – and in – love. At the end we passed out stones. We reminded ourselves that these stones weren’t weights to carry – like the world gives… shame, guilt, oppression. And we reminded ourselves they weren’t weapons to be thrown. That would be the way of intolerance and hate. These stones reminded us that throughout history and in all our faith traditions the “corner stones of justice” have been rejected, and yet these same cornerstones have become the building blocks of a better, safer, more just future. (Psalm 118, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.) We carry these stones with us now. And we commit ourselves again to be the those who dedicate our lives to paving the way for that future… today. And to let love and compassion for all people be our cornerstone.
Update: I was reminded of an older post on why I support marriage equality. If you missed it back then you may read it here.