After gay marriage ban in N.C., what comes next?By Hugh Hollowell Religion News Service
RALEIGH, N.C. — The people of North Carolina voted May 8 to amend their constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Amendment One will, among other things, declare that the only legal union is between one man and one woman.
A large number of people of faith worked against the amendment. Christians who saw this as a justice issue — as a tangible way to both love their neighbor and as a means of doing for others what had already been done for them — fought long and hard to keep this amendment from passing.
And they were unsuccessful. The amendment passed anyway, despite their efforts.
I am sad the amendment passed. I know how disheartening this is to those of us who worked against it. And I am pledging my support to work to overturn this amendment in future elections.
So how should we, as people of faith, respond? How do we live in light of codified oppression? Now that the people of North Carolina have voted against equality, what should we do?
Simple. We vote again.
We vote for equality every day of our lives, by our lives. We vote for equality when we notice that everyone who sits as a guest at our table is of the same sexual orientation we are, and we work to change this. We vote for equality when we notice whose voice is not being heard, and call attention to it.
When you question why your church has no one in a position of authority who is not a straight male, you are voting for equality. When you decide not to attend a conference where all the speakers are of the same gender, race and sexual orientation, you are voting for equality. When the company you own extends benefits to same-sex couples, you just voted for equality.
The Jewish prophets spoke of the “day of the Lord.” Jesus spoke of the “kingdom of God.” Martin Luther King spoke of a “beloved community.” They gave their lives for such notions.
But any of them would tell you that a “beloved community” does not spring forth as a mandate from a ballot box. Instead, it’s the result of countless decisions we make every day of our lives. We vote for this “beloved community” with every decision we make. Every decision is a vote cast for the future we wish to live in.
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