A blessed and glorious Pride month to all! This year there is more to celebrate than at any previous time in history. As we march, pray, and celebrate, let us give thanks for every act of bravery from every individual who has worked to end systemic oppression of LGBTQ people. Every act of coming out as LGBT, or as a proud family member or ally, every challenge of a hurtful joke or slur, every step taken to witness against injustice, helped to bring us to this day. As we revel in the stunning victory of marriage equality in Ireland and await what is widely expected to be a Supreme Court decision that makes marriage equality the law of the US, we live in a time of incredible social transformation.
These days echo some of the momentous days of Sacred Scripture: Noah’s family disembarking the ark, the Israelites’ entry into the Promised Land, Simeon’s and Anna’s recognition of Jesus as the promised Messiah when he was first brought to the temple, Mary calling on Jesus to remedy the lack of wine at the wedding feast. Each marked a turning point in our salvation story. Each was a turning point, the end of one phase of our journey, and the start of something very new. And each meant that the work ahead changed.
The same feels true for us. Marriage equality is beginning to feel inevitable, at least in the western world. However, as we have learned from the civil rights movement, legal rights do not necessarily translate into full equality and justice. And the gains in the civil realm far outstrip the realities in our Church, where the vast majority of official leaders remain stubbornly entrenched in outdated doctrine.
As people whose faith is central to our lives, I believe that we are called to keep working for the changes in hearts, minds, and souls that result in true justice and unity among all of God’s people. While more and more LGBTQ people and our families are finding Catholic communities that embrace them, even more are leaving our Church due to experiences of exclusion. San Francisco joins a growing list of dioceses seeking to impose draconian contracts on their employees, with support for LGBT equality explicitly listed as a cause for termination. The Vatican continues to put our Church on record as opposing same-sex marriage, adoption of children by LGBT people, and support for transgender people. Changing these things is the work of the years ahead of us. We know that the people of the Church are largely with us. As the old saying goes, “When the people lead, the leaders will follow.” Let us lead!
Please remember to cast your vote for DignityUSA’s new leadership! Votes must be received by June 15, 2015.
Looking forward to seeing you at our Seattle Convention, July 2-5, 2015. In order to be ensured of the convention rate of $139/night (plus tax), you must make your hotel reservations by June 8th. Visit the Convention website for all you need to know.