Last night as I was watching the election returns, a commentator told a story from his childhood. In 1964, at age 10, his family visited Washington DC and some of the surrounding areas. They stopped to have a meal at a diner and on the table were printed place mats that said something to the effect of "We apologize for our government that has removed the traditional right to refuse to serve colored people." He said that message underscored the racial divisions in our country in a way he had not experienced before or after. With Obama winning the election, that scar would finally heal.
And then last night in multiple states laws were passed to institutionalize discrimination against GLBT people. On the night when we finally embraced the fullness of American promise for people of all colors, we shut the door on those of differing sexual orientations. I apologize for that.
I am doubly ashamed of those who call themselves Christians and yet used lies and fear tactics to push through this legislation. It was a strategy below the standards of anyone who calls themselves followers of Jesus.
I don't know what comes next. I don't know whether the law can or will be challenged in the courts or if we will once again have an initiative on gay marriage in the future. I do know I am heartbroken for friends who have been told that they are not deserving of full rights. I feel angry at a government that has told me how to practice my ministry in presuming to tell me who I can and cannot marry (FWIW, I won't listen). I am frustrated at the African American community who do not see the parallels here to their own experience and voted overwhelmingly to institutional discrimination. Still, I am hopeful because the arc of history and the movement of God through the years always moves towards justice. I am resolute in standing with those whose love must withstand not only the prejudice of some of the surrounding population but also the weight of unjust laws.