Progressive Christian Channel
Regarding Marriage Equality: Who's on God's Team?
As a heterosexual, and someone whose gender identity matches my gender presentation, I am an ally for those who differ from me in this respect. As a Spirit of Anne Frank Award recipient, I've repeatedly extolled the heroic non-Jewish friends who supported Anne's family in hiding, at tremendous risk. They were allies, caring more for common humanity than concerned about differences.
Would we do the same? Should we exclude persons born with traits, the complexities of which science is now illuminating, from the rights and joys we hold sacred? Should we condemn some to life sentences of isolation? If we agree that we cannot bully, beat, pray or wish away heterosexual dispositions, we must also acknowledge the failure of such tactics to change other sexual natures.
Who would God exclude?
I'm often in the presence of deeply religious people. But I don't believe humans can perfectly describe God, nor believe God would create some to be inherently "Other."
Supposedly, we -- with the full panoply of human attributes -- are created, by God, in God's image. But which of us is "It"? Or does a presumption of God and Godliness shine through us all? And is not Love, above all, God's essential truth, deeply rooted in the love, commitment, and family to which everyone is entitled?
A Final Note from the Author
Following 9/11, I reached out to the families of innocent Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus murdered in Islamophobic and xenophobic attacks. In writing and programs, I ardently combat these biases, as well as all intolerance, stereotyping and what I call "appearance-ism" (appearance-based judging of ourselves and others).
I've become closely connected to various religious communities, often speaking on podiums with esteemed religious scholars and luminaries. Repeatedly, I'm overwhelmed by the warmth, compassion and humanity of deeply religious people, as well as secular folks. I'm Jewish, and (despite the cliché) some of my best friends really are Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Catholic, Baha'i, Buddhist and other faiths.
My care and concern for LGBTI people (including a friend who committed suicide) has also galvanized my sense of a personal imperative to work against the polarization of some religious people toward those who are LGBTI. I believe the argument above needs to be part of the public discourse. I believe this rationale underscores an imperative for everyone to care for the human rights, dignity, and marriage equality of all people, wherever they are on the continuum of gender, identity, or sexual orientation.
Anya Cordell is a writer, speaker, presenter, and recipient of the Spirit of Anne Frank Award. She is the author of the article "Where the Anti-Muslim Path Leads" and the book RACE: An OPEN & SHUT Case.