Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Why is defeating the marriage-elimination proposition a UU priority?

Dear Pastor Cranky:  Why do so many UU congregations in California devote so much time trying to defeat the anti-gay Proposition 8 but not work on the other ballot initiatives coming up in the November 4 election?  What about high-speed rail?  Why are you not cranky about this?

Good question.  As a devoted public-transit nerd I would love to be giving money and time to support that high-speed-rail proposition 1A.  I think it would benefit Californians of all income levels, boost our economy, promote energy independence and environmental stewardship, and reduce our carbon foot print.  As a social-justice activist whose faith urges the practice of compassion and the application of reason, I would love to be devoting more time defeating some misleading and counter-productive criminal justice propositions this year.   As a humane society member, animal-welfare benefactor and dog-n-cat lover, I’d like to help pass the proposition against animal cruelty.  (And I forget the other propositions, which is why they are a bad idea for governing a state this enormous.)

Unfortunately, among the sources of inhospitality to, repression of, and misinformation about gay people, organized religion is the leader.  Not all organized religions, but the largest and most dominant players, have been anti-gay for a long time. Aggressive homophobia is the reason for being for some preachers and the primary fundraising tool for some organizations that call them selves faith-based.

Hence, it is crucial for all the pro-gay and pro-fairness faith groups to speak out and show up, to give a religious witness for compassion, equality, justice and love.

The leading forces behind the anti-equality Prop. 8 are conservative religious organizations–and they are organized around this issue!  This is why our UU congregations, lay leaders and ministers are standing up with other fairness-oriented faith communities.  We will not let others lead a an anti-gay campaign in the name of all people of faith.  As people of faith ourselves, we stand up against exclusion.  We stand for equality and fairness.  We stand on the side of love.

Yes, I’d rather be the transit-nerd minister promoting high-speed rail.  Unfortunately, however, this anti-gay Proposition 8 and its backers are distracting all Californians us from real threats to our children’s future and our state’s prosperity.  I hope that–after we protect the California Constitution from having discrimination written into it, after we protect the right to marry for all committed couples– we can again focus our attention on other pressing issues.


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