The Highest Love
“Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
I recall an image from the civil rights movement of an angry white woman shouting furiously at a young black girl as the girl walked past (to attend a court-ordered integrated school). I imagine the young girl was extremely brave and frightened in the face of such vocal hatred. I also recall the images of black students sitting at a restaurant counter while angry white mobs shouted profanities and dumped beverages and food on the peaceful protestors.
I mention all this because it is easy in hindsight to recognize how destructive hatred, bigotry, and discrimination can be toward people we love. But I wonder, with groups currently facing such hatred, if we are doing enough to speak up? If you have a sister, brother, cousin, aunt, uncle, parent, son, daughter, or friend who is gay, have you asked that person how you might help?
As someone who recently married, I understand how privileged I am to have a wedding and ceremony in my church and to have all the legal benefits that go with marriage. We simply added “spouse” to the various employer, insurance, bank, property, and tax forms in order to integrate our household and receive legal recognition of our union. Perhaps more importantly, we had the blessings of our friends, family, and religious/spiritual communities. Anyone who is in a committed relationship likely understands that during rough times, the support of friends and family is vital and can help pull you through.
If two adults love each other and are committed to the relationship and are of sound mind, they should be able to marry. Gender, skin color, ethnic background, and religious beliefs are not reasons to make the marriage unlawful. To discriminate in our laws is wrong. The laws no longer say a black man or black woman cannot marry a white person. Likewise, the gender of the individuals getting married is irrelevant.
If the religious, political, or social organizations to which you belong practice discrimination, then your spiritual inner-knowing and your God call on you to speak up. We must evolve—as individuals and as religious communities. We must move beyond fear, hate, and oppression and learn to embrace love, kindness, and compassion. It is unjust to segregate certain individuals from the privileges of society because of fear. Living a spiritual life requires us to make difficult choices and to give voice to those who are oppressed and those who are suffering.
The highest love is to do for others as you would want done for you. If you were fortunate enough to have love in your life, then you are blessed. That is a worthy wish for others: the option of legally sanctifying that love, regardless of gender.
In joy & gratitude,