Many gay couples are rushing to get married in California, fearful that the Mormon church's Proposition 8 will soon strip gay couples of legal rights in their state. I remain confident that we can win - because we have the best argument. The new Field poll shows it very close - but winnable. If Obama and Schwarzenegger speak out as they promised in the next two days, that would help. Their silence is deafening. But the experience of these rushed weddings is also profoundly affecting:
In a symbolically loaded part of their ceremony, an African-American friend invited them to “jump the broom.” During slavery, society refused to recognize the rights of many African-Americans to marry. Despite this, marriage formalized by a couple jumping over a broom continued to thrive.
Today, we recognize those earlier marriage bans as a gross historical injustice.
The thing that struck me about their ceremony was how viscerally it changed my own feelings about gay marriage. I had always supported gay marriage, but it was an abstract, intellectual support; now it’s personal. And so a friend’s wedding became, for me, the most compelling political event of the year.
And for all of us who are married, the initiative feels like a gut-punch to our weddings, a cruel and bitter attack on our families and the homes we have built and will defend.
Make no mistake: This is the civil rights movement of our time - and like past civil rights movements, its opponents deny its character. They are having a rally in San Diego this weekend to intimidate gay people and our families, and to abuse the Jesus of the Gospels to advance the the power of James Dobson and his political machine. If you think Jesus speaks in the tone of a football announcer, and the central mission of Christianity is to strip others of equality, accuse them of abusing children, and force them to the margins of society, this event is for you.
Pray for them. One day they will realize just how misguided they are.
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