Saturday, July 19, 2008

Back at the home front, a hometown debate on marriage equality

(This is a cross-post with Walking With Integrity)

My hope is this will rekindle the debate on the wisdom and morality of South Dakota's discriminatory "quasi-marital relationships" Constitutional Amendment. One thing to note about Amendment C is that rather than a groundswell of grass-roots support the campaign was funded by one source: the South Dakota Family Policy Council (ie Dobson's Focus on The Family Foundation). Given the voting results, you wonder whether this is really what we wanted as a State. Did South Dakotans really think this was needed? In a state where state per pupil spending is #50 an teacher salaries are #51, and very tough child well-being stats, is gay marriage really that big of a threat?

But I digress... here is my post over at Walking With Integrity:

In my hometown of Rapid City, we were blessed with a polemic attacking the "activist judges" in California, from Rev. Richard Wells, local Baptist pastor and a founding faculty member 1972 reactionary Baptist Christian school Criswell College... you can guess where they stand. Wells said, last week:
On May 15, the California Supreme Court overturned the state's ban on homosexual marriage. .. if you care about America, you should be very worried.
I responded with an op-ed published today, representing myself, Integrity, and Equality South Dakota:
Similar words of alarm (accompanied by carefully interpreted Scripture) have been used in some churches to prevent ethnic minorities and women from sharing their gifts as full members of the Church, but (in my view) the Holy Spirit continues to work to open the doors to everyone.

Rev. Wells was right to quote Aretha Franklin saying that what's at stake is r-e-s-p-e-c-t. Marriage equality is one of the ways we can respect the rights of all citizens (including LGBT folk) and allow them and their families to live in liberty, freedom, and integrity with their God and their fellow humans. This day is coming and it is not to be feared; rather, it is something to joyfully celebrate!
The Rapid City (South Dakota) Journal does not post editorials online, but I have posted captured images of both editorials (400K pdf).

1 comment:

  1. It turns out I got a fact wrong... the historic California Field poll results (showing " gay marriage" approval by a slim majority) were released this week, not in May. Details were published yesterday in a story by Scripps Howard News Service.