Today Hilary Clinton announced her support for gay marriage by saying that gays and lesbians are “full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship. That includes marriage,” she says, adding that she backs gay marriage both “personally and as a matter of policy and law.”
This past weekend Rob Bell spoke, in a church, in support of same-sex marriage “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.”
Last week Republican Senator Rob Portman came out in support of gay marriage – “I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married.”
Last month prominent Republicans — some really powerful folks, signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry.
The times they are a’changin’ – PTL!!
Now I could be cynical and say:
What the hell took y’all so long to wake up to love, oh and equality?
What took you so long to muster the courage to actually represent all your local constituents?
Why did it take so freakin’ long to live up to “liberty and justice for all”?
But I’m not feelin’ it that way.
Rather than take a cynical (certainly realistic) view I want to believe that hearts and minds truly are evolving. Today I’m choosing a posture of gratitude that looks at what is and can be rather than what was.
For some it is now deeply personal. Sure, it is Senator Portman’s job lead beyond his personal desires and beliefs to create good for all – to represent – but the reality is we all lead in our own spheres from our personal contexts and through the lenses we wear. And in the last couple of years his lenses have changed from dim and narrow spectacles to lovely Elton John rainbow tinted lenses. Even if his progress comes from initially selfish motives I still want to celebrate the opening of a new heart.
For some, changes like this only occur when it is deeply personal – I know, apart from idealistic notions of how leadership should happen, that hearts and minds are messy tumbles of stones that sometimes crack and break in the river of life. But more often than not I believe that our conflicted thoughts, desires and beliefs tumble around and smooth one another into supple hearts of compassion and grace. Today, and last week, and last month, my gut reaction is gratitude – and hope. With that impulse I am choosing not to jump into the “nothing is ever good enough” or “why now, why not two decades ago” critique campaign. I just want to believe that one step and a time, one heart at a time compassion and justice are seeping into every corner of our beautiful and broken world.
Ok, to be a little less squishy and more matter-of-fact, these powerful men and women hold the key to the equality of many, so at the end of the day I guess I don’t care so much why or when they’ve changed official positions, just that they are. Either way I’m believe that the end result is the same and that the arc is bending before our very eyes.
Yep, these are dark and muddy waters we are still wading through, and we have a long way yet to go. Sure, some of the shift we are seeing is about personal gain, political posturing and professional longevity – no argument with that. And there will be harsh, dangerous and likely deadly backlash as these changes pick up speed, with God’s love careening through the highways and the hedges.
Thanks be to God for where we have been, what we can see now and what is coming into view just on the other side.