Comments Shared at the “Light the Way to Justice Event” here in Wichita.
I think it important to be clear that although I am a clergy person here in Wichita and my particular viewpoint and theological perspective informs and shapes my commitment to stand in opposition to Prop 8 and DOMA, and I do pray the Supreme Court vacate these amendments, I am not speaking of religious doctrine, dogma, or influence.
My religious beliefs and theological perspective fuels my stance for marriage equality and equal rights under the law. That being said, I believe too many times religion is the problem. Although I can never fully remove the hat of my calling and vocation, I speak here to the issue of civil law and injustice, and in particular the two cases that will be heard by the Supreme Court today and Wednesday. I believe these and others are perpetuated by religious intolerance and lack of understanding. Citing a blog by the Rev. Vicki Flippin, serving at The Church of the Village New York City, “our religious institutions have been used to push discriminatory laws that dishonor loving and committed relationships and have been on the front lines of denying rights to couples just because of their gender make-up.”
So, while I may hold to a particular religious viewpoint of justice and equality, these laws and their arguments should not be about religion or even politics, these unjust laws are about denying basic civil and human rights and should be overturned and denied. I concur with John F. Kennedy when he stated, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.”
All of us, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transsexual, and straight will continue to shine the light of understanding and perseverance, we will not be moved nor shall we rest until we all have equal access to basic privileges, benefits, opportunities, and rights; for until all are equal and free under the law, none are free. My lesbian, gay, transgendered, and bisexual brothers and sisters should have the same opportunities to pursue happiness and love, with the right to marry the love of their lives as do I, without interference from government or religion. May it be so and may it be now!