It is Holy Week in the halls of justice as our justices in the Supreme Court consider the fate of Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). How fitting. They are hearing the arguments in the very week that Christians acknowledge the holy terror permitted by Pontius Pilate as he heard the arguments againstJesus Christ. Pontius found no fault in Jesus but gave him over to a murderous crowd anyway. He washed his hands of him.
We can only hope that our justices will not wash their hands of lesbian, gay , bisexual and transgender (LGBT) citizens. I pray that they will have more courage and discernment than Pontius.
My friends have begun the Facebook battle of red equal signs and red cross signs in light of the case before the Supreme Court on Prop 8. As a practicing Catholic, who has slowly come to the conclusion that God loves us all and wants us all to be in relationships of love that are stable and respectful regardless of the sex of those we love, I cannot tell you how grateful I was to find your article “What the Bible Says…About Homosexuality.” Thank you for calmly, intelligently and compassionately addressing the real truths in the Bible, and the misunderstandings we bring to bear in our human frailty. I am inspired, encouraged and filled with faith that God truly is operating in our world!
A few pictures of today’s efforts at the United States capitol, in support of the supreme court hearings on Proposition 8.
Chris Carr (Board Member of Soulforce), Rev. Dr. Cindi Love (Soulforce Executive Director), & Kevin Jones (Board Member of Soulforce)
We started today at 6:20 A.M. at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, D.C.. We were asked to come early for orientation for those of us who volunteered to serve as a “human shield” or buffer of peace between the Westboro Baptists and the people who would be at the Supreme Court Rally in support of repeal of Prop 8 and DOMA.
Washington, DC Supreme Court Vigil
I was honored to be joined by Chris Carr, our incoming Chair of Soulforce’s Board and Kevin Trimmel-Jones, member of our Board and other volunteers from churches and non-profits, families and friends. Thank to all of you who wrote and were willing to help. We could only submit names for ten and had to share this number with two other groups so if you didn’t get to come to this action, stay tuned for the next one.
More than 20 faith traditions were represented at this service–MCC, Lutherans (of all types), the Circle Sanctuary, Episcopalians (including Bishop Robinson), the National Confederacy of Two Spirit Organization, the International Federation of Rabbis, Turner Memorial Church, California Faith for Equality, United Methodists, Dignity, Muslims for Progressive Values, National Coalition of American Nuns, Unity Fellowship, Five Mountain Zen Order, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, Mormons for Equality, United Church of Christ, Covenant Baptist, Unitarian Universalists, The Washington National Cathedral, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Marriage Equality USA and more.
A highlight of the service for me was a revision reading by Minister Paul Fulton-Woods which brought laughter into the sanctuary and the performance of My One & Only by Todd (Tif) Fernandez. Both made me smile.
When the service ended, we processed together to the steps of the Supreme Court singing “This Little Light of Mine.” The sun broke through the chilly air and we turned the corner to see thousands of people lined up, in vast majority to support the repeal of Prop 8 and DOMA.
- God is Still Speaking!
Westboro was there with the usual signs of protest of our lives. They were far outshadowed by the moms with strollers and babies and signs supporting our lives and our right to marriage. I will never forget one mom. She told me that she took her son out of pre-school today and brought her infant and the son to the rally because she wanted them to see what is really right. She said she did not want her children to ask her in thirty years where she was when someone needed to stand up. She was a witness of sheer love— with a stroller and a diaper bag and two children bundled up against the cold.
She stood with us for a while as we held our line of non-violent resistance between Westboro and other protestors and the crowd of well-wishers and hopefuls for the repeal.
Tomorrow, we will return to the steps and the Supreme Court will hear arguments about the constitutionality of DOMA. More buses of opponents will pull in from around the country. More newscasters will show up and interview the Westboro folks. It doesn’t matter. G_d, Allah, the Divine of your naming has got this. We’ve got this. No matter how the Supreme Court rules, the American people are on the move now.
Thank you friends and allies of Soulforce, for your long tenured witness to the sheer power of love, You have changed the world and, along the way, we’ve all been transformed.
Rev. Julianna Donofrio MTS. MA. of Amherst, MA sent the following thoughts we would like to share:
As a community interfaith minister; a lesbian with a gay son and a bisexual daughter, I have traveled, participated, supported and spoken about Soulforce between 1999 and 2008. Although I am unable to attend tomorrow’s peace keeping action in person, know my prayers are with Soulforce and all who work so hard to ellinate oppression affecting LGBTQ persons and their families.
I owe my knowledge and perspective on non violence to the 2000, Soulforce University and the great spiritual mentors, Mel gathered for us to learn from. The 7 direct actions and two arrests, two in the presence of the Westboro Baptist church, are experiences I can share with my seven year old granddaugter as she begins to ask “those questions”. Like, why I have a picture of two men on top of a wedding cake. She keeps me and her mom on point!
Mel’s mentoring and personal reference was a direct influence in my attendance at seminary and my ordination.
Thank you for your leadership, Soulforce, as I have witnessed its evolution, is in good hands. I am especially grateful for the intergenerational face that upholds its principles.
My own living of life on life’s terms, coming on the good side of a year long experience with a dire diagnosis, prohibits me from offering monitary, however you are always in my prayers
Rev. Julianna Donofrio MTS. MA.
Without freedom, no one really has a name. –Milton Acorda
When looking back on these early years of the 21st century, we will remember the handful of people who made decisions to act in conscious defiance of the status quo — to say out loud the names and needs of those who have been denied freedom and, in doing so, to break the yoke that denies them liberty.
President Barack Obama joined that handful on May 9, and I am grateful.
REPRINT: Press Release
LUTHERANS CONCERNED/NORTH AMERICA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2012
Contact: Phil Soucy, Director Communications
Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA Speaks Out In Opposition to Anti-gay Marriage Amendment
Today, Friday, in a sea of green voting cards which said “yes,” the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) spoke out in opposition to the proposed amendment to the state constitution that would deprive the right to a civil marriage to same-gender partners.
RELEASED: 17 February 2012 – 5:45pm
Just moments ago, the Maryland House of Delegates passed an historic marriage equality bill, bringing us one giant step closer to making Maryland the next state to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
What makes this win so sweet is that it comes on the heels of three huge victories in the past two weeks: a court decision that ruled Prop. 8 unconstitutional, as well as major progress for marriage equality in Washington and New Jersey.
This latest win was made possible through years of tireless efforts by equality advocates like you.
From here, all eyes turn to the state Senate, then to Governor Martin O’Malley, a remarkable champion who has driven the effort to get this law through.
But momentum is everything as this bill advances and we need to be out front and visible with the case for marriage equality in Maryland. Share the image below on Facebook to show you stand on the right side of history with Governor O’Malley.
Share the image on Facebook to show you stand on the right side of history with Gov. O’Malley.
It’s been a tough road filled with plenty of setbacks – and we’re not done yet. But our perseverance has led to this major breakthrough. Here’s how your passion for change helped get us here:
- Thanks to broad support from HRC’s more than one million members and supporters, we helped organize an impressive pro-marriage coalition including 1199 SEIU, the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP, Equality Maryland, the Maryland ACLU, Progressive Maryland and Marylanders for Marriage Equality.
- Support from activists and members enabled us to place five senior staff members at the helm of the campaign.
- Together, we generated 18,000 emails, 16,000 phone calls, and 15,000 postcards to Maryland lawmakers.
- We launched an unprecedented outreach campaign in the press, online, and in church communities to build support across Maryland.
- With your support, we successfully brought together clergy members of all faiths to boldly demonstrate support for marriage equality from across the state.
- On behalf of the coalition, HRC produced 15 web ads featuring prominent Marylanders like Governor O’Malley to keep the issue visible.
It’s clear that our nationwide campaign for equality is working, and – one day soon – loving, committed, same-sex couples will be able to marry – no matter which state they call home.
Share the image above on Facebook to show you stand with Governor O’Malley, Speaker Michael Busch, our legislative allies, and all fair-minded, pro-marriage Marylanders as this legislation makes its final rounds through the capitol.
The Maryland campaign continues and we won’t back down until marriage equality is legal in every state. But we are making incredible progress and we wouldn’t be here without you.
Proud and grateful,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 7, 2012
Michael Cole-Schwartz | email@example.com | (202) 216-1553
Federal Appeals Court Agrees: California’s Proposition 8 Is Unconstitutional
Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Discriminatory Amendment
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – today praised the historic decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirming the August 2010 conclusion of U.S. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown) that the amendment to the California Constitution barring marriage for same-sex couples, adopted in November 2008 as Proposition 8, violates the U.S. Constitution. In a 2-1 decision authored by Judge Reinhardt, the court agreed that Proposition 8’s only purpose in denying gay and lesbian Californians the freedom to marry was anti-gay animus, something the Constitution does not permit.