|Rally for Marriage Equality, Portland, 3/27/2013|
1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
I thank God regularly for June 10, 2012. On that day, I went to a barbecue in Portland. I didn’t know anyone there when I walked in the door… but I was met with hospitality and humor… I gained friendships that will last forever… I was embraced with love.
Before that fateful barbecue, I definitely believed in marriage equality and justice for the LGBT community. But since that day, I have been so incredibly blessed by new friends and connections in the Portland gay community. You are my family. You have laughed and danced with me. You love and support me, even in my depression and anxiety. You show me beauty, faith and compassion. My life is so rich and full of joy for knowing you. I thank God for you (often!).
I went to the courthouse today in Portland with a sign that said “Another Christian for Marriage Equality.” I rallied with friends and strangers. I held up my sign and yelled “woohoo!” as cars drove by honking and waving in support. (I thought I was going to lose my voice!)
I stood up today because there are over 1000 federal rights that my friends have been denied because they love someone of the same gender. The same people who have shown me so much friendship, and in whose relationships I see such deep caring and love, are being denied basic rights that many of us take for granted.
I identified myself as a Christian on my sign because my religion has been used as an excuse to deny these rights, and I want to scream “No more!” As I also mention in my Open Letter Regarding the Traditional Prom, I do not believe the bible justifies making lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people into second-class citizens or calling them sinners.
In the bible verse above, we are admonished to love one another, and reminded that God is love. When I look at my friends, I see love. I see love for their partners, love for their family and friends, love for this community of Portland. To deny the validity of this love is short-sighted and cruel. To stand up for marriage equality is the Christian thing to do. Jesus would have joined us in front of the courthouse. God calls our LGBT sisters and brothers beloved.