Light at the End of the Tunnel

For Immediate Release, Saturday November 28, 2009

By Affirmation Co-spokesperson Tim Tennant-Jayne

'I've got good news and I've got bad news.' This stock line begins several
jokes. However, voting about the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender, and queer folk is certainly not a joke. Affirmation: United
Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns
mourns the recent vote against marriage equality in Maine, while we
celebrate the vote in Washington affirming the rights of couples entering
into civil unions. People frequently refer to this as the 'everything but
marriage' law.

It is disturbing that our civil rights, our very lives and relationships are
being put to a vote. It is rare for civil rights to be granted by a vote of
society. The right of inter-racially different-gender couples to marry was
ultimately decided by the United States Supreme Court. While some states
approved of these relationships, even in 2009 there are individuals who
disapprove. The United Methodist Church officially approves of the
ordination of women. Yet there remain congregations today who are still
uncomfortable with this belief. Probably the term 'marriage' vs. that of
'civil union' factored into the different election results in Maine and
Washington. Many people are still reluctant to expand their understanding
of marriage, of love, and of relationships.

And yet, Affirmation members remain a people of faith and of hope. As we
approach our 35th birthday as an organization, we recognize the distance we
have come in changes to the larger society. Thirty five years ago, few
people could even conceive of the idea of full marriage equality. At that
time, a vote would have been extremely lopsided against us. Today we are
usually within 5% to 10% of gaining acceptance. Our path through the tunnel
still appears very long and dark. However, we do see the light of hope at
the end of it. The Spirit of God is indeed moving throughout our country,
working to change hearts, minds, and votes. Affirmation looks forward to
the continue work of the Spirit, both in secular society and in our
denomination.

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As an independent voice of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer
people, Affirmation radically reclaims the compassionate and transforming
gospel of Jesus Christ by relentlessly pursuing full inclusion in the Church
as we journey with the Spirit in creating God's beloved community.

Affirmation: United Methodists for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and
Queer Concerns is an activist, all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization
with no official ties to The United Methodist Church.

How to Contact Us:
umaffirmation_at_yahoo.com
http://www.umaffirm.org

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