Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Discrimination as Platform

The Republican candidates' debate was held last night. Most of these candidates seem to run on the platform of discrimination, not unlike my Presbyterian colleagues who are planning a little gathering of their own in August.

From the GOP presidential candidates:

Five of the seven Republican presidential candidates at Monday night’s GOP debate said they want a constitutional amendment banning same-​sex marriage. Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum all stated if they were elected president, they would support anti-​gay discrimination written directly into the constitution.
And the "Fellowship":
As the spring progressed, however, and it became clear that ordination standards and a significant portion of the Book of Order would be changed, the August Gathering became the go-to place for many more people with a wide range of different needs and concerns.
Nothing like anti-gay discrimination to coalesce voters and pew-sitters against a common enemy.

Here is the irony.

Anti-gay discrimination, no matter how it is disguised by religious or political rhetoric, is on its way out. More and more people are caring less and less for homophobic rhetoric. This is true in New York State and in Appalachia.

This past week I met with three same-gender couples as we planned their holy union ceremonies. These couples cannot at present get a marriage license in Tennessee but it is important for them nonetheless to have a ceremony of blessing for their relationship. It is far more likely that Tennessee will grant equality in marriage than for a federal amendment banning equal marriage to get any traction.

I am sure that elevating oneself by putting down gays promises yet a few gold coins at the end its discriminatory rainbow, but that prize is getting smaller and smaller. Politicians and religious leaders will soon learn that homophobia, like crime, doesn't pay.