Keep Weaving the Fabric of Love
Last night, across California, we cheered the demise of Proposition 8 and rejoiced in the new federal recognition of married same-sex couples. What a day! I am still gratefully soaking up this new legal landscape.
How did we get here? In 2004, the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of California began work on marriage equality. California UU clergy went on marriage equality caravans. “Cottage Conversations” created awareness. We helped to pass groundbreaking marriage legislation and delivered 3,800 handmade Valentines to our governor asking him to stand on the side of love. When the movement turned to the courts, we filed a series of amicus briefs lifting up interfaith voices on behalf of religious liberty.
Finally, love and justice won. In May 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that marriage could no longer be denied to same-sex couples. The weddings began, and same-sex couples gave voice to long-held vows of love and commitment.
Until November… when Proposition 8 passed, and the door was closed.
I know that LGBTQ people are far from the only minority who has been deprived of rights due to the fear of the majority. It was still hard to witness. Dueling lawn signs and arguments over the legitimacy of someone’s family damage us all.
We were in the thick of it. Our UULM Action Network had been asked to manage the interfaith part of the “No on 8″ campaign. From pastoral care for vulnerable families to clergy witness and relentless phone banks, we were put to the test. As people of faith, we refused to demonize those who opposed us.
While we lost the Prop 8 vote, we “lost forward.” We built important capacity for change. Others learned from our loss. State by state, the tide has now turned, creating the conditions for justice. We are so grateful.
Change is incremental. It comes in conversations and court decisions. It comes from young people raised without fear and the bravery of elders. And, it comes by refusing to live in silos – by standing with immigrants, by working for voting rights, by knowing that we are all family.
The Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and Prop 8 provide a huge burst of hope and momentum. Let’s use it. This week, the LGBTQ supportive community is needed to advance compassionate immigration reform so that all families can be safe.
Justice is a shared garment. Let’s keep weaving the fabric of love.
Rev. Lindi Ramsden
Senior Minister & Executive Director
UU Legislative Ministry of California
The message above went out on Thursday, June 27, 2013 to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. You can sign-up for these emails here.