Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I Am Your Neighbor

At last, the election is over and our nation can make way for a new leader and one who, I think, will be a vast improvement over what we’ve endured for the past eight years. Barack Obama seems to be a man willing to go back to an old standard of past Presidents: get people together who are ideologically different to help develop the strategies and policies that will lead the nation. Wow! What a concept!

And it’s a good thing, too. Because, unfortunately for him, he is taking over from the toddler President who has thrown all the toys all over the room, kicked the stuffing out of every teddy bear, and scribbled in magic marker on the furniture. Now the adult has to clean up after the eight-year temper tantrum. Good luck! Can we get the bucket brigade in to help ya scrub the ink off the coffee table?

From observing his victory speech last night, I sense that our President-elect is not gloating about this victory. He knows there’s a big mess behind that Oval Office door. Another sign, to me, that we may finally have a leader again, and not a spoiled brat.

As pleased as I am to see this change coming to our highest office in the land, I am more somber than some others about last night’s election results. Because change, as it affects me and all other gay people, is still elusive. In fact, it feels as if it is out-of-reach.

The voters of Florida, Arizona…and it seems California, too…have written into their state constitutions a ban on gays and lesbians being allowed to marry their partners. In Arkansas, they’ve decided gay people can not adopt children…just like Florida! In Florida, the marriage ban goes so far as to say anything that is “marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof” will be banned. Proponents have said this will not affect domestic partnership laws in some jurisdictions of the state. I will tell you that they have said that with their fingers crossed behind their backs. They may not start their attack on those policies today or tomorrow…but it will come.

I am reminded of the psalmist who wondered why God has turned his face away. I am feeling that level of “WTF?!” How long must “my people” be the left-behind, the ridiculed, the used for political expediency, and always told to take our seats at the back of the bus of change? I wonder when it will get through to those who do not experience what it is like to be an outcast to see that the ones who you cast out are your neighbors? When you look into our eyes, do you not see the light that shines out? Do you not know me? Why does a phrase like “gay marriage” cause your heart to harden, your ears to close, your eyes to go blind with fear?

God moves in most mysterious ways, and I’m sure has a purpose in what has occurred. May I remain open to learning what is next for me. And to never allow the whims of 62-percent of the population of a state to disrupt that relationship. You can define marriage, but you do not define me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The work has to be done in the churches of this country and just because we are safer up here in New England doesn't mean that the rest of the country has to be worked on very very hard.