"I am playing with myself,
I am playing with the world's soul,
I am the dialogue between myself and el espiritu del mundo.
I change myself, I change the world."

Gloria AnzaldĂșa

20 February, 2008

Counting my Blessings

A few years ago, Texas held a constitutional referendum to protect the institution of marriage from the scourge of homosexuality. I expected the amendment to pass. After all, this is Texas. What I did not expect was that the amendment passed with seventy-five percent of the vote. Seventy-five percent. I was hurt.

And both the major candidates for the democratic nomination in 2008 are against gay marriage. They have to be against gay marriage to win. It hurts.

But it helps that when I post about my commitment to Susan, you sweet souls act as witness to our love and promise your support. It really did turn into the virtual Quaker wedding that Jozet proposed. Susan wrote a response to all of you at the bottom of the First Comes Love post in which she says she wants to print out all of your responses to read when she needs to be affirmed that there are sweet, smart, funny, and supportive people out there. It's a good idea.

So, thank you for being my blog community. It means the world to me.

14 comments:

Family Adventure said...

I didn't know that both the democractic candidates are also against gay marriage - but like you said, they probably have to be. American society can be so pigheaded sometimes in its conservatism (sorry, you can censor me if you like), and that's why people like you need to lead the way. To show those not in the know that there's no threat - just love and peace.

So...thank YOU, Prof. J. for being honest, open and sharing. You are changing the world for the better.

Hugs! Heidi

bipolarlawyercook said...

I read somewhere once that "Friends are the family you choose." We choose you, and thank you for choosing us!

Cheri said...

Professor J~

You are welcome, of course. And thank you for being open about your love and commitment.

I think things are changing, and sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised at the places and people in which I see hope for a better future for everyone. The pastor of my church recently led a series of discussions called "Homosexuality and the Bible." Now it seems clear to me that if anyone would be Christ-like about treating others with equality, respect, lack of judgment, and free of labels, it would be Christians. But, sadly, Christians make the name Christian pretty much synonymous with exclusivity, judgments and labels. To my pastor's credit, he got a large congregation talking about issues that churches make pronouncements about rather than discuss. And he deftly blew away some of the "biblically based" notions that homosexuality is a sin; he even laid out the reasoning for his belief that the Bible supports gay marriage (but not gay sex -- go ahead and figure that one out after you finish giggling).

And so, in between classes, I started an email correspondence with him, arguing with him point by point. That's what happens when you give a lawyer a Bible verse or two to work with. And, again to his credit, despite being the busy pastor of a very large congregation, he answered each and every one of my emails, and was expressly open to me sharing our emails with others, which I did via emails to many of my friends. (I have been pondering whether at some point I will publish them, or post about them, in some form.) We had a conversation, and I would like to think seeds of change were planted all around.

At the end of the finally lecture in the series, I stood up in that crowded sanctuary to pose some questions for him, questions that clearly "outted" my position, and for which I was certain I'd be nailed to the cross. After he'd answered (always leaving me with more questions to raise), another gentlemen who appeared to be in his early 60s stood up. He introduced himself, said he was not gay, nor did he have gay children, and said he'd been married to the same woman for some 40 years. I figured this would be the first of the many Christians in the crowd who would begin to throw stones at me. Then the gentleman proceeded to offer his support for my arguments as to why there is nothing but biblical support for love and acceptance and equal treatment of every individual, and he raised many of his own in support of equal rights for gay relationships, including that everyone should enjoy the many blessings of marriage and sex. Others stood up and voiced their agreement.

So, there I was, caught in the act of prejudging what I thought the crowd in that congregation thought about gay marriage and sex. Sure, I know there were some who think it is a sin, they probably always will, but there are other loving souls, souls filled with grace, all around us. I'm glad some of them have made their presence known to you and Susan. Not all of them are in the blogosphere. Some of them even go to church.

XOXOXOXO

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'm sorry that your real-life community is so against what you have. That was a lovely comment by Susan.

Lisa Milton said...

Some folks are foolish, full of fear. So sorry.

But they don't hold sway over us all.

We wish you only the best.

Julie Pippert said...

Ooooohhh cool new banner! Like it!

Now, while you hug that compliment, hang on...

Okay. I'm back. I checked again. The value of my marriage CHANGED since you two got married!!!

Your marriage did affect my marriage!!

I got all warm and fuzzy about your sweet story and made a date night for us and we had a nice time and our value went up!

Okay all seriousness...

75%...that is hurtful. I'm sorry; I was in MA then, voting to approve gay marriage.

I am also disappointed that candidates must espouse bigotry to get elected.

I'm glad, though, that you guys got and enjoyed such warm and beautiful affirmations of your relationship...that's what marriage is, really.

Now you need the fringe benefits. I wish I could promise you those.

Oh, right, there is one thing I can do: I got you two a card last week.

If you are okay with it, send me an address I can mail it to j pippert at g mail dot com.

Misty said...

I have been super busy and am so behind on blogs. I missed your last post but just caught up. Very beautifully written! you are right, symbolism is big for English majors!

Sojourner said...

I am sorry you live in such a ridiculously bigotted place. Where I live is only marginally better.

As you know (because we are very old friends)I believe that by standing up and speaking out we WILL make things better- even if not in our own lifetimes. Therefore, I firmly support and applaud your willingness to share your marriage on such a public forum.

TO all of you who have commented: thank you so much for your support and graciousness. It is people like you that give me hope to carry on.

Cheri: Brava! You go girl. I have given up on church after many years of being open and forthright. Not because of the people I went to church with, but because of the hierarchy. (My blog explains the whole thing if you are iterested). But truly amazing things do happen when we stand up and speak out. Thank you 1000x

Mrs. G. said...

The only thing missing at this beautiful wedding (besides the main course of civil rights and equality under the law) was cake. So just for you and Susan, I am going to force myself to eat a piece. No, no, really, it's for your love, I insist. Extra frosting.

You two are the best!

Melanie said...

I echo what others have said about the importance of being vocal and speaking up for your convictions.

I live in Idaho (or Whitey McStraightsville if you prefer) and attend a Quaker meeting that is largely populated by conservative non-denominational Christians, and my moral and political beliefs are certainly not the norm.

I firmly believe that, given the Quakers' historical commitment to social justice issues from slavery to suffrage, we now have an opportunity to wise up and speak out for civil rights for the GLBT community. And I will (nicely) tell anyone who cares to listen.

(PS: Rock on with your bad selves.)

Irish Goddess said...

It's the least we can do. I know how difficult it can be, how scary, how challenging, how tiring, to be out. I think lesbians are the bravest people in the world, hands down, and deserve all the love and support we can give. And god do I hope that some day it is unnecessary, because being "out" will not be a concept anymore - we will all just BE. You have my undying respect.

anne said...

I'm sad for you both that things are the way they are. I wish you could have the benefits offered to other married couples. I wish everyone could see your marriage for the wonderful thing that it is. I wish Susan never had to affirm that there are supportive people out there - I wish you both felt that support from everyone, everyday.

But when you need it, you know you can find it here.

Mike Golch said...

It is my belief that the only reason the stands against gay or lesbian marriages is that big business will have to fork out money in the suppting of heath benifits and they donot want to do that,(sarcastic remark comming)we all know that heing a homo causes things like A.I.D.S. the truth is that there are far more STDs in straits than gays or lesbian relationships.So what is worse,yoy tell me.But that again I'm jusat one voice in the wilderness calling for equality for every one.strait or otherwise.

JCK said...

Wishing you and Susan the very best and all love has to offer!