June 26, 2013

A small statement on SCOTUS decisions

Statement at Decision Day Rally
By The Rev. Torey Lightcap
June 26, 2013

Every once in a while, you get to preach to the choir! Today is one of those days. It’s a good day.

Nevertheless: alas, as always, there remains so much to do. As my priestly colleague Susan Russell has commented, tonight we can celebrate these rulings of the Supreme Court as “incremental victories” toward the larger mission of achieving full equality for all LGBT Americans. Susan said today that “We did not get the whole enchilada – but there is enough guacamole.”

We live in an absolutely remarkable age. As a member of the clergy and as a person whose positions on moral issues are sometimes noted, I know that I can stand before each of you with the full backing of my bishop, The Right Reverend Alan Scarfe, and proclaim to you that today’s decisions are specific instances of justice as drawn out by the Gospel According to Matthew. In that Gospel, Jesus says that when you reach out from the center into the margins and show love and respect and care for those who dwell there, you love not only those people, but in point of fact you love Jesus himself. For a Christian, there can be no higher calling.

You’ll realize, of course, from just having lived your life, that just because the Court has spoken doesn’t mean we’re through with fallout or recalcitrance or backbiting or bitterness, or the organizing of further opposition which the law also is obliged to allow respect and voice in the process. That legal ramifications are only one aspect of a much bigger assembly of concerns. That many good people will continue to feel, even if they can’t quite explain it, that they’ve been kicked in the teeth once more. That somehow they continue to lose a war they never started. To them, and to you, I say that those of us who call ourselves Christians are forever obliged to love and include everyone. Ours is not judgement.

Ours is to show dignity and to promote the respect and freedom of every human person because we are all indissolubly bonded to one another as the creation of the one God who rules all things and who is in all things. The Christ who is in friend and stranger at the margins. Disagreement is expected; love is required.

This is the victory we celebrate today. With kindness and forbearance, we will continue to celebrate it, and to make strides for full inclusion and equality.

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