The Supreme Court of the United States is currently hearing arguments in two cases with far-reaching ramifications for Gay & Lesbian couples in this country. And my first response is, "Can we please just settle this and move on!" It's time. It's way past time.
I have the wonderful privilege of serving as Transitional Pastor at Veradale United Church of Christ in Spokane Valley Washington. It is an officially Open & Affirming congregation - which means, among other things, that they have gone on record declaring that they are welcoming to everyone, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning folks. The phrase which is printed in our bulletins every week is "No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here!" And they mean it. They back up their talk with the actions of their living. On any given Sunday you will find a wide variety of folks sharing together in worship. There are straight couples and straight singles. There are lesbian couples and lesbian singles. There are gay couples and gay singles. There are folks in their 80s and folks whose ages are still measured in single digits. And in the wonderful mix of that great and glorious diversity, mostly I don't pay much attention to people's "orientation." What I notice are people who love each other, share life with each other, work hard to support their church, laugh together, cry together, pray together, eat together and on and on the list could go.
In the relatively brief time I've been with this congregation it has been my great honor to officiate at a wedding for two women who are part of the church. There was joy and laughter and an overwhelming abundance of love. What I witnessed that day was a celebration of love which was so obviously surrounded by and blessed by God's Spirit of Love that it was impossible to miss and impossible to deny.
At the other end of the spectrum, I also had the profound honor of visiting Hospice House where a woman lay dying while her loving partner sat by the bedside holding her hand. In that moment I did not see a lesbian couple. What I witnessed that day was a sharing of pure love which was so obviously surrounded by and blessed by God's Spirit of Love that it was impossible to miss and impossible to deny.
For far too long now we in this country have been imprisoned by a narrow and life-denying "letter-of-the-law" attitude regarding our GLBTQ brothers and sisters. I pray for the day (please God may it come soon) when we can open our hearts, and open our lives, and open our laws to a broadly inclusive, life-affirming "spirit-of-the-law" understanding of how to share life with each other. It's time. It's way past time.