"An individual's sexual orientation -- like a person's race or gender -- does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights."
We began marrying couples at All Saints Church on June 18 ... the first day we could ... with the wedding of Mel White and Gary Nixon followed by Susan Craig and Bear Ride on June 19 ... 46 in all -- couples married who had access to the legal right to marry the person of their choice ... the man or woman of their dreams ... between June 18 and November 4. (That's right, blog watchers: no "moratoria" here. Never was. Isn't going to be.)
And now -- a year later -- we wait for "the other shoe to drop" in the form of a pending CA Supreme Court ruling that will either reiterate that we are a nation of liberty and justice for all or uphold the ability of a bare majority of citizens to take legal rights away from a minority population.
Reflecting back on the year past, a quote that still stand out for me is one from Anna Quindlan:
"Here's what I don't understand: is there so much love and commitment in the world that we can afford, as a society, to be contemptuous of some portion of it? If two women in white want to join hands in front of their families and friends and vow to love and honor one another until they die, the only reasonable response to that is happy tears, awed admiration and societal approval. And—this part is just personal opinion—one of those big honking KitchenAid mixers with the dough hook."
So today ... as I get ready to head over to All Saints in a few minutes for a confirmation service that will bring 40 or 50 (don't have the list in front of me but it's a whole slew) new members into the Episcopal Church, I give thanks for the ghosts of weddings past still echoing about our sanctuary.
I give thanks that new members are coming toward us because when we say "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You" we don't have an * after "You*" with some caveat that reads "unless you're gay or lesbian and want to live happily ever after some day."
And I give thanks for all who are committed to the "good fight" of continuing to work toward that day when there will be equality in both our church and in our state ... heck, let's make that in our nation, our communion and our world.
Because, at the end of the day, there will never be so much love and commitment in the world that we can afford, any of us, to be contemptuous of some portion of it.
And the time to start celebrating it is now.