Flying to Boston yesterday, I set aside my usual tendency to read and stared out the window for some time. A vast field of wispy cirrus clouds created the sense that I could see forever, riding above them. And I thought, as I stared out, how much I take this amazing view and experience for granted, and how other people labored and even died to make this so.
My daughter did a report on the Wright Brothers last year and I learned more about aviation history than I’d frankly ever cared to know. But those scrappy inventors, bicycle mechanics by trade, were also social progressives who worked closely with African Americans to promote equality, and were raised by a bold Mennonite preacher father and feminist mother. I have to wonder: what was the connection between their social values and their willingness, over and over, to hurl themselves into the skies, risking their own safety for a vision of what it could mean to soar?
As I stared out at the skies, I was mulling about the topic of marriage equality. A plane going the other direction was barely visible, tiny at a distance, and with it came Adrienne Rich’s line, “The longer I live, the more I believe two people together is a miracle.” Indeed, what a miracle that in this enormous world, people can find someone whose heart nestles in beside their own! Why would anyone spend their precious lifeforce working to diminish that possibility, when we are in desperate need of more love, not less, to heal our world?
The UUA has created a short video to state clearly that we stand on the side of love. Crank up the sound and enjoy the wonderful music and images! I also urge you to watch Rev. Lindi Ramsden, director of UU Legislative Ministries of California, speaking powerfully at a rally in the aftermath of the election.
Harry Knox, faith guru for the Human Rights Campaign, told me that Lindi was the backbone of all the faith organizing for the No on 8 campaign…that not just UUs but everyone relied on her wisdom, her skill, and her tenacity through this skirmish. “Her name is gold,” Harry told me. I’ve known that for years, but I was proud to learn that so many others know it too.
I am also very proud to say that the UUA has filed a writ petition against Proposition 8, charging that it is a violation of the freedom of our religion, and the religion of other people of faith who hold equality as a central tenet. Episcopal Bishops, UCC and Jewish organizations have co-signed with us. You can see the press release here and the actual petition here. Huge appreciation to hardworking UU lawyer Eric Isaacson whose faith propelled him to author this.
This is a critical time for us to be visible to those people who are hurt and suffering from ballot initiatives created by fear and perpetuated with lies, scare tactics, and ignorance– who are equally hurt by the silence of so many who could have fought it. This is the time for us to be clear and vocal as we stand on the side of love and justice.
– Rev. Meg Riley