In 2003 I volunteered with Equality California to knock on doors in my Los Angeles neighborhood to talk about marriage equality. Even though I was then (and still am) single and expect to marry a person of the opposite gender it seemed like an obvious decision. Why should we deny people who were seeking to make their commitment to each other public in that time-honored tradition? I grew up in a family where it was considered normal (and good) to be gay. My family would have been supportive of me. Yesterday the struggle for marriage equality in this country ended. (Sure there are a few counties that are refusing to grant licenses but they will). Our highest court ruled that marriage is a right that all people are entitled to no matter who they choose to marry.
Hearing that ruling made me giddy. This is one of those moments that will live on forever. People will ask you “Where were you when you found out that gay marriage was legal?” I will be able to answer that I was celebrating with my fellow Episcopalians. Shortly after the ruling came down we had our morning worship here at General Convention. Before the service actually started they played the hymn “Walking in the light of God” – a hymn that was sung by the people of South Africa as they celebrated the end of apartheid. That song resonated with me. We are ending one more form of injustice. I just hope that as happy as we are about this ruling that we will continue to fight for the other ways that non heterosexual people are still discriminated against. It may be legal for two men to get married in Texas now but if they do and their boss finds out they could get fired. That would be legal. We have a long way forward – but we have turned a corner – a huge corner in this battle.
Today was another day that will go down in history. Today the Episcopal Church elected the Right Rev. Michael Curry as the newest Presiding Bishop. He is the first African American Presiding Bishop that our church has ever elected. We had a woman as our previous presiding Bishop. The thing that is most remarkable about his election is that it was a landslide. We were not a church that was afraid of electing someone that was not white. He received over 3/4 ths of the votes of all the Bishops. They selected him during the first round of voting. He is clearly that person that needs to lead this church at this time in history. I heard him speak just after his election. Our church is moving forward and truly living into the multicultural reality that is God’s Kingdom.
I am proud today to call myself an Episcopalian. We danced in the name of the Lord to celebrate that #LoveWins. We eagerly elect an African American man to be the face and voice of our church and to shepherd us towards God’s Kingdom. This is my church.