Friday, May 23, 2008

Validation at Last? Gay Marriage Question

Penny Patterson, a young woman who writes a column for the Santa Barbara Independent, on issues facing the LGBT Community, offers a moving testimony to what the recent California Supreme Court decision means to her as a lesbian in a committed relationship. I met Penny at a showing of the documentary For the Bible Tells Me So.
Penny writes of her own struggles coming to terms with her sexuality and the response of her very religious family. She shares in this piece of her own faith and what that means as a gay woman. The evening of the decision a vigil was held her in Santa Barbara, which I wasn't able to attend, but as Penny shares, my friend and colleague, Mark Asman, the pastor Trinity Episcopal Church, and a gay man, spoke to the gathered crowd about faith, marriage, and homosexuality. As Penny recounts it, Mark pointed out that not all religious people stand as opponents of gays and lesbians. She writes:

I am a Christian who finds strength in the revolutionary aspect of Jesus’ teachings; as such, I believe that were he to walk on the Earth today, this would be his fight. Contrary to what right-wing fundamentalists want you to believe, Jesus’ message was one of radical inclusion. And while my knowing that gets me through the hateful and homophobic rhetoric of the Dobsons and Falwells of the world, hearing Asman reiterate the message reminded me why I became a
Christian in the first place.

For Penny and many other gays and lesbians this decision offers the opportunity to receive legitimation. Yes civil unions can provide legal protections, but in our culture it's marriage that offers cultural support to relationships. Now, as Penny suggest, she can now dream of one day marrying her partner.
To read the entire column click here.

1 comment:

AZ said...

I think she will find that marriage will not do for her what she hopes. People who accept homosexuals already think she's legitimate, and people who reject homosexuals won't change their minds just because it's legal.