Dr. Rev. Robin Gorsline: What the End of DOMA and Prop 8 Means to Me as a Faith Leader
Photo of Gorsline and his Husband, Jonathan Lebolt via Facebook
Two big wins at the Supreme Court!
But frankly the biggest win happens here and everywhere the struggle for justice and equality is building strength.
I try to avoid saying God is on my side, or our side. Rather, I want to be on God’s side.
And what I see God making possible is a vast movement building momentum all across the country, including in Virginia, pulling together for the full equality of all. These two decisions, limited though they are in some important ways, are further evidence to me that God is really helping us to bend the moral arc, about which Dr. King spoke so eloquently, more and more toward justice.
The legalities of marriage may be decided in courtrooms—and I am grateful to the ACLU and others who go to court ceaselessly to press for equality and justice for all—but the morality and the social structures and the family patterns and the community attitudes that both support marriage and help to define it will be remade in a wider public arena.
This is where people of faith play a central role. We are in the healing business, we are in the shalom or “making whole” business, we are in the justice business (the Jewish and Christian testaments and writings, and the Qur’an, are clear about this). Another way to say it is: We are in the soul business—individual souls, yes, but the soul of the community.
You can see this working in lots of places.
More and more religious bodies are opening their hearts and their doors to LGBT people they used to shun and even despise. This part of the movement will continue, especially if people of faith work together to carry the cause.
Faithful people, clergy and lay, are involved all over Virginia in public policy witness for equality—for example, in March to support these two cases being argued, now in response to the rulings, every February 14 for marriage at courthouses, in testimony at the General Assembly, visits with legislators, etc. This part of the movement will continue as we discover how many of us there are and how powerful is our witness.
In other words, this is all getting stronger.
What excites me most about these rulings is that they give another fresh push forward for this vast movement here in Virginia to become stronger, more assertive, more sure of its being blessed by the God of justice and love.
As the new full-time President and CEO of POFEV (People of Faith for Equality in Virginia), I am buoyed up by all the energy, all the dedication, all the hope I see. I am dedicating my life to this cause, and many others are joining every day.
As I reflect on this day, I realize how Moses and the Hebrews must have felt when they knew, when they knew, that God was going to carry them to freedom.
After today, I think we’re going to get to the Promised Land a lot sooner than it looked even a year ago. Thanks be to God!
Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline is President of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, an interfaith organization of gay and straight clergy and lay people working for equality for LGBT Virginians. Read more of his thoughts on faith and spirituality on his personal blog.
“We believe love changes the world, that’s where we stand.”November 5, 2014
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