Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Voices of Faith: Taking on bigotry

 There is a critical difference between feeling discriminated against because you're disagreed with and being discriminated against because of who you are.  
 And there is a critical difference between people who feel that their marriage is being threatened if the lesbian couple next door can get married and the lesbian couple next door whose marriage is being threatened by ballot initiatives taking away their fundamental right to marriage, by a governor vetoing marriage equality passed by their elected representatives, and by a "Defense of Marriage Act" (DOMA) that denies them 1,138 federally protected rights that their next door neighbors claimed the moment they said "I do." .... 
 As a priest and pastor I am very clear that the First Amendment protects my right to decide for myself whom God blesses or doesn't bless. I am equally clear that it does not protect my right to decide for myself whom the Constitution protects or doesn't protect. And so if we're going to be that nation "with liberty and justice for all" to which we teach our kids to pledge allegiance, we need to get religion-based bias out of the civil marriage debate once and for all. And then we need to work together to become the nation we were conceived in liberty to be -- by overcoming bigotry and by choosing equality.  
 And to overcome it, we have to name it. The defense rests.

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