Leading Virginia Beyond Its Elected Officials
If ever we needed proof of the uphill struggle faced by those who want to lead Virginia out of the shadow of injustice into its rightful place as a champion of liberty, we have it now.
When Governor McDonnell issued the proclamation to celebrate Confederate history, he spoke in the voice of Virginia Past—the voice of inequality, discrimination, social amnesia, and bigotry. It took him awhile, but he did recognize his error.
But it is not enough to say you are sorry for forgetting past wrongs. There is work to do to fix things now, e.g., overcoming still powerful effects of slavery and Jim Crow alive today.
Just as the Governor, Attorney General, and General Assembly need to get to work to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation, and gender expression and identity.
But they won’t do it without a lot of help from us and our straight allies. Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.”
She was right that it starts with a small group, but at some point they need hundreds, indeed thousands and tens of thousands to join them. People in power—especially those whose supporters are heavily invested in maintaining the status quo—don’t readily abandon old ideas without being led to it by those they are supposed to lead.
That’s why we need everyone—especially including you—to show up on Wednesday, April 21, at 11:00 am at the Bell Tower at Capitol Square, 9th Street at Franklin, for the Statewide Rally—“Don’t Hate: Legislate!”
And, if you are a person of faith, sign the Statement of Conscience issued by People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, at www.faith4equalityva.org.
We all have a part in leading Virginia beyond the limitations of its elected officials.
Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline is pastor at Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond. He is also 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.
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.
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