Through a pretty random set of circumstances, I had the privilege of delivering the Invocation at the New York City rally that was part of the co-ordinated rallies across the country today, set up to protest the passage of several propositions (in CA, AZ, AR and FL) that deprive GLBT folks of their civil rights. It was an amazing experience and an incredible honor.
After Prop 8 passed I was unable to write much about it. I felt like I had been physically assaulted and robbed of my civil rights. I was 3000 miles from my fellow mourners, surrounded by people who were exuberant over Obama's victory (and rightfully so). I felt raw and broken for all of my people back in California.
Today's rally served as a balm to that wound. All the way across the country from CA, 4-5 thousand New Yorkers showed up on what promised to be a rainy afternoon. They showed up in love, in outrage, in sorrow and in solidarity. I am deeply grateful to them. I am able now to rise and resume the fight, one that we will eventually win.
Here is the Invocation I delivered today:
I bring you greetings from California!!!
It fills my heart to see all of you here this afternoon. Thank you all for being here today as we come together to stand on the side of love.
Spirit of life and love and all things holy
We are grateful for this day, for those who have gathered here with us in the service of what is good and true and right
We pray that here among all of these justice seeking people we might find calm and grounding in a world that seems at times to have gone quite mad
We are reminded that wherever we come from, whatever faith tradition or ethnic background or moral ground, we are called to be the hearts and hands and voices of justice for those who have yet to be permitted to claim their rightful place as full and equal citizens.
We have come her today to bear witness to this pain, to cry out for justice for our brothers and sisters in California, in Arkansas, in Florida and in Arizona as well as for all of those, wherever they are, who live with the relentless beat of fear in their lives. For those who rise each morning to find that they are still second class citizens.
We will, in fact we must ensure that every person everywhere has the civil rights, indeed the basic human rights; they have been guaranteed as citizens of our nation.
We are reminded of this truth; we are the ones we have been waiting for.
We the people are the ones who have the power to change the future. Despite what has been lost, we must not lose hope and resort to blaming and finger pointing. At the center of this quest for love and acceptance for all people, let us not harbor seeds of hate, anger or distrust. That which is given freely and in love gives the greatest return.
May we be the change we want to see that we may bring about the America that has yet to be realized, a society where there is freedom, liberty and justice for all. No exceptions
The future is created by people who go against trends and expectations and instead form communities of life and spirit, of love and compassion of friendship and equality.
By people who have the courage to begin to live out a brand new story long before that story even seems possible
Let us join together now and write that new story, one of equality, love and justice.
May it be so
May we all be blessed and healed,