Monday, June 01, 2009

Who Attended the Rally on Saturday...

A Rabbi who quoted the Torah

A Priest who offered hope and acceptance and the reminder that God loves all of his children.

A Baptist Minister who walked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr from Selma to Montgomery, and who argued that this civil rights issue is as important as the issues of the 1960's were for African Americans.

An academy award winning screen writer who made me cry with his words of hope to the GLBT youth who are feeling abandoned by their families and communities. He cited the statistics of suicide in adolescent and young adults who are gay and it made my heart hurt.

An Emmy winning actor who spoke out to the people who voted yes on prop 8. The quote that stands out is "How does this issue hurt you?"

An academy award winning actress (okay so I missed her talk because I was trying to get water and my camera).

Activists from all over the country.

A singer who sang a chilling version of "Midnight Train to Fresno." You tube it if you can.

Grandmas holding the hands of their grand kids.

Grandpas holding signs of love.

Men and Women holding on to their partners.

Children listening, playing, and being accepted for who they were.

Gay people standing together.

Straight people standing with them offering support.

I felt such hope being at that rally. I know that was a major point of the rally-keeping hope alive. All the speakers spoke about telling your story. It is important to be heard and maybe one day understood. My story is simple. I am a straight girl from a small community who agrees with the quote that, "injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere." I am a passionate person, but this issue has made me stand up for my beliefs in ways I would have never predicted. After the rally I called my dad and told him where I was and what I heard. I was glad he heard me.

I have also been trying to come to terms with my feelings about people who "celebrate" the ban on same-sex marriage. There are two men in particular who are referenced a lot in my community for "celebrating" the ban. I feel a lot of anger towards them. I also feel sad for them knowing how bigoted it makes them look, and this is how history will see them. At the rally I thought of them and I thought of the governor of some southern state decades ago standing in front of a school to prevent African American children from attending. That is how the men in my community will be remembered by my children. Standing in the way of justice. I thought about writing them a letter to let them know my anger that a "man of God" could be so cruel. But then I fell back on my clinical training. If I had a mean child as a client I would not give him any attention, so I will do the same with them. When they are on the TV I will turn it off, when they are on the radio I will change stations.

At church Sunday morning I was still lost in my own thoughts of this issue, and the injustice of it all, when I found a prayer that I had forgotten about. It pretty much summed up the rally and the upcoming fight in both the state and federal arena.

Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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