by Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline, POFEV President
Do you believe how much things are changing?
A majority of the United States Senates—including two Republicans—now supports marriage equality. Two of those Senators are our own Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. Six months ago, maybe less, who would have thought either of them, especially the relatively cautious Warner—who must face the electorate in 2014—would now be clear in their support.
And Rush Limbaugh and other conservative commentators are lamenting that the battle to stop it is lost. None of them that I can see has changed his or her opinion—but they do think it is inevitable.
Of course, many of us have been saying this for some time, believing in Dr. King’s arc of history that bends toward justice.
Nonetheless, the inevitable probably will take some time.
Right now, attention is on the United States Supreme Court. Two weeks ago, I joined thousands in Washington, in a great display of passion and commitment for marriage equality as two cases were about to be argued in that august marble hall of justice. Despite our passion, the court is unlikely to make any sweeping judgments.
The day began early—at 6:15 clergy were due at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, near the United States Supreme Court, to check in and find our assigned seats. Of course, it also gave us an opportunity to greet friends and make new ones. And we shared in a magnificent interfaith service. The music, testimonies, prayers, all of it was inspiring, giving us focus and encouragement to take the next step.
The procession from the church (pictured left) to the court started out somewhat organized—many of us singing, “This Little Light of Mine,” with the usual confusion among knots of people not singing the same verse at the same time, but still sounding pretty good!—but as we came closer to the court, we became a bit ragtag, in part because there were already thousands of people there.
Some had been there for 24 hours or more, waiting in line to get tickets to get into to watch the actual arguments. Most had come that morning—I had seen a lot of them on my way to the church a couple of hours earlier.
It was energizing and inspirational to feel all the energy, and to realize that our side was clearly a match for the other side. Sure, there were plenty of anti-equality folks, but they were pretty easily drowned out by our much larger numbers and, I think, enthusiasm and passion.
It is that enthusiasm and passion that got folks home in Virginia to do some witnessing, too—from Alexandria in the liberal north to Floyd in the conservative southwest, with Charlottesville, Roanoke, Staunton, Richmond, and Norfolk in between. What is exciting to me is that we had five communities engage in Valentine’s Day marriage equality witnessing, and six weeks later seven communities stood to be counted in response to the action in Washington.
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