“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Conversations about the Marriage Prohibition Amendment

Back on September 30, 2012, at the "Standing on the Side of Love" worship service we had at First Universalist, we declared our support for all families, and for all loving relationships. During that service, I committed to having at least 10 more conversations with people about the Marriage Prohibition Amendment and why I was voting "No."

I meant to blog about this much earlier, but life's been busy, our son's been sick, and the pace has been non-stop. But now, I want to take a few minutes to share some stories.

As it turns out, most of my conversations have come about through phone-banking. I was part of the "clergy calling clergy" put on by MN United for All Families several weeks ago, as we reached out to other ministers around the state to offer support, encouragement, and a listening ear. We reminded clergy that in previous states where this type of Amendment passed, religious people, especially Christians, hadn't spoken up enough in support of marriage for all people. We reminded them that now was the time to write letters to the editor, to preach about God's love for all committed couples, for all people.

(And as a quick aside, I'm pleased to say that there are now over 600 clergy who are a part of the MN United for all Families coalition!)

I also spent some time phone-banking last Sunday, calling people to coordinate the get out the vote effort. Being involved in a campaign like this is new for many people, so half of the work is just explaining how it works, offering encouraging words, and asking people to share the story of why they're voting "No." Remembering the very real people that will be hurt by this Amendment helps all of us say "yes" to door knocking, phone banking,  or doing whatever else we can do help defeat this Amendment.

I've also had good conversations at the local coffee shop I spend time at. It turns out, most people are already voting "No," but I've definitely met more of my neighbors, and stretched myself by reaching out.  There are still a few neighbors to talk to. I'll report back on those conversations.

In all of these conversations, I hold in my minds' eye all the faces and stories of the incredible LGBT people that I know and love...whose love, commitment, and relationships are no different than mine, but who would be permanently excluded from marriage if this Amendment passes, and I tell myself to pick up the phone and to start the conversation.

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