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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Like most families, my brood is a complex configuration of souls, so I greeted this week’s flurry of Supreme Court decisions with a conflicted heart.

This is true for most anyone who paid attention to the court rulings, I imagine. This latest round reflects parts of our culture we either want to embrace or want to reject. No middle ground here. It’s all peaks and valleys, the perfect graphic to illustrate our country’s divisions these days.

Initially, I was overjoyed to hear that the court had struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act — a ridiculously named law that did nothing but harm to innocent people and their families for 17 years. Finally, the U.S. government must recognize the legal marriages of same-sex couples, and the earth didn’t tremble, not even a little bit.

Immediately, my mind was flooded with the faces of so many gay men and women who populate our daily lives — good people, crazy loyal and with a patience no one has the right to ask of them.

My mood was quickly tempered by the wakeup jolt of reality. Thirty-nine states still treat their gay citizens like modern-day lepers, passing bills and referenda as redundant as they are hateful. The DOMA decision does nothing to stop states from continuing to discriminate against men and women whose only crime is to be different from the people who fear them for reasons they can’t explain, even to themselves.

A lot of people who oppose marriage equality like to blame God for their bigotry. In my version of heaven, I get to watch them try to explain themselves.

Meanwhile, down here on earth, every time I hear someone talk about how God hates homosexuality — that whole “love the sinner, hate the sin” malarkey — I think of my late mother, whose faith survived countless trials in her 62 years.

“Being a Christian means fixing yourself and helping others,” she used to say, “not the other way around.” That’s a lifetime of work summed up right there.

Nine years ago, my husband and I were married by a minister who still cannot wed her longtime partner simply because they live in Ohio instead of Massachusetts, say, or any other state in New England where same-sex marriage is legal.

To this day, friends and family who attended our wedding want to talk about how moved they were by Pastor Kate’s sermon at our service. To this minute, Pastor Kate cannot legally claim Jackie — beloved to all of us — as her spouse, even as she works for the United Church of Christ every single day.

God’s will, you understand.


  • Michael Kollmorgen

    Dear Connie:

    Yea, I live in Ohio too, unfortunately. Enough said about Ohio……………

    Yep, I too would love to live to see the day when the White Race is the “minority race”. And, I’m a white guy saying that.

    But, be aware, the very people, people of color, who most of us gay people supported throughout the years for their fight(s) for equality, stabbed the gay community right in the back, and didn’t support us during that Prop 8 fight in California. After all, according to them, “there are no gay people in the black community”. If it weren’t for them, gay marriage would have been legal several years ago already.

    Also be totally aware, just because you are latino/hispanic/cuban, that don’t mean you’re going to vote for the right candidate either. There is a sizable Cuban population down in Florida, wealthy and Republican who would sooner or later cut yer throat in a heartbeat.

    Trying to keep religion out of politics is going to be pretty hard to do when the vast majority of latino/hispanic voters that either immigrate here or illegally come here are devoutly Catholic. And, we all know how corrupted that faith has become.

    So, just because the white race will be in the minority sooner or later, that don’t mean we’re all going to live at peace with each other, all live under the same banner of equality.

    In another 30 or so years, it could totally reverse. We ALL might be in for one hell of a ride eventually.

    • labrown69

      The reality is the Black community nationally, are generally the most homophobic, anti-abortion, bible thumping voting block there is. The far left has this funny blind spot that sees only race but not what comes with it.

      • Michael Kollmorgen


  • rustacus21

    I have a Black friend which I often have very cerebral discussions with, that I often don’t/can’t get w/friends of my own culture & we had a pretty rigorous exchange about this very thing contained in the comments above. Regarding blacks & hispanics approachs’ to race, gayness & perspectives thereof, there seems to be an acute sensitivity to these issues, that get into the psycho/cultural arena, which are far too complex for the space allotted here, but suffice it to say any stigma’s therefore associated revolve around the steady & consistent racism faced by both (Blacks/Hispanics) groups, w/gayness being a sortof ‘escapism’ in dealing w/these realities, for many of the youth thereof. Denial runs deep – on both sides, as the attitudes of Blacks/Hispanics & the SCT decision on Voting Rights bare. B/c we haven’t actually dealt w/race, as an issue, but especially in terms of its destructive impacts on child development, health, etc. Some helpful insights were gained from information I was given (see,, etc.), has shed lite on issues many in all American demographics would very much like to ignore. The problem is, as much as we’d all like to, the damage manifests in such ways as we see in the tensions between the initial reaction to President Obama & White members of BOTH parties of Congress, resulting in a situation of governmental paralysis, b/c race, culture, power & economics. So lets be careful not to narrow this debate simply to gay issues, as the central concern here is the ability to vote, as a core principle, out of which our ENTIRE Democracy revolves & of which the SCT majority presided over in ways the above spotlited sources are rife w/examples of the oppressive history being played out at this moment in time…

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      I’d like to know why we can’t narrow down to single issues?

      We need to find exactly WHY people who support one issue won’t guarantee their support on another issue when it concerns TRUE equality.

      I’ve always believed you support me, I support you. Either you give total support to all equality issues or you give no support to any of them.

      And, in not supporting true equality, which is basically picking and choosing what you do and do not support, that is the ultimate hypocrite. There is nothing worse than getting stabbed in the back by people whom you’ve supported most of your life.

      • rustacus21

        Democracy isn’t that simple. Authoritarianism, yes, but not Democracy. As circumstances change, so must representation & legislation. History has proven this to be the case, which is why Liberal/Progressives are so much more successful at it than conservatives (compare outcomes & see what U find, in just the period after the very 1st (1929) Depression til this moment in historical time). Liberal/Progressives have Democracy philosophies/foundations to rely upon & progressively ‘build’ better frameworks. Conservatives (w/their Machiavellian/Rand-exclusive ‘theology’), it’s just the exact opposite, when considering the entirety of the last conservative administration & the leftover rubbish hindering/impeding/obstructing his (Obama’s) & his administrations difficult work in undoing the damage of conservative policies even HE & HIS ADMINISTRATION are having little to no success in dismantling. He (President Obama) should be taking his cues & action-imperatives from the successes of the Clinton administration. Instead, he’s trapped in the hell of the 2001-2009 policy disasters, w/conservative legislators threatening & intimidating him if he tries to stray a single millimeter from those (’01-’09) policies, or ELSE (it’s the relentless attacks as we’ve seen these last 5 CONSECUTIVE years, of being bogged down in Republican/T-bagger obstructions).

  • Mortalc01l

    I am oblivious to whether you’re a Wiccan, a Sikh, a Christian of whatever flavor, Muslim or a devout follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster; it’s all the same to me… have at it in the privacy of your own home or designated place of worship…

    My problem comes when YOUR religion decides what MY morals will be, what the laws of the land are going to be. As soon as Christians decide that THEIR moral values MUST be everyone elses’ then I am going to have a huge problem with you.

    What is it that Christians just don’t understand???? You don’t get to tell me how to live my life; YOU don’t get to tell me what I should think is good or bad.. I can make my own choices on those matters.

    Why should I (and the rest of the non-Christians)suffer, because you are delusional enough to believe in an invisible Man in the sky, who really cares if you masturbate, eat shellfish, or work on a Sunday? Keep your moral platitudes and simplistic black and white views to yourselves and let the rest of us adults make our own decisions, ok?