A Shout Out for Iowa!
Here’s a shout out for the Iowa Supreme Court which ruled that equal rights in Iowa requires that two men or two women who seek a marriage license have the same right to one as heterosexual couples and to the leaders of the Iowa legislature who immediately embraced this decision as good for Iowa! There will be no political effort to undermine that ruling of their Supreme Court. On the contrary, they are proud that Iowa joins two other states in recognizing the love and commitment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people and their families. They want to lead our country in recognizing equality under the law for GLBT couples and, wonderfully, Vermont and DC have already jumped on board. This is a mitzvah (blessing) upon us all.
But my heart dwells for a moment on the fact that colleagues of mine in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) do not see the blessing in this decision. I so yearn for them to see what I see. I see the faithfulness of couples like Nancy McConn and Brenda Cole whose love and commitment toward each other shine in a way that blesses all who know them. Brenda is clear, “Marriage is the only word we know for what we share.” Brenda and Nancy do not need a marriage license to be married in spirit, but they deserve the rights and privileges that the state conveys in that license because their relationship benefits society just as much as any marriage between a man and a woman. Their relationship is a mitzvah upon us all.
How will my brothers and sisters in the PCUSA come to see what I see? When a gay couple comes faithfully to every activity in their congregation. When lesbian parents work beside them on the PTA at their children’s school. When an indispensable co-worker puts a picture of his wedding party for his marriage with his partner on his desk. Or when a well-loved cousin living in Iowa comes to their grandfather’s 80th birthday party with her spouse who is pregnant. Then they will see how God is blessing these couples and how they, then, bless us all.
With this decision, Iowa has not only upheld a basic principle of our country: equality under the law. It has also hastened the day when we will finally adhere to a basic principle of the Gospel: “Faith, hope and love — but the greatest of these is love.”