Sometimes being active and being proactive is the hardest thing to do when facing a challenge. But in order to make it to the other side of the challenge one must take action. I was participating in a town hall meeting on hate crimes and found myself struck by the realization that when it comes to defeating homophobia in it current manifestations of ballot measures like Amendment 2, we cannot afford to be apathetic or inactive.
I have two juxtaposed experiences that come to my mind. The first is a teenager asking me at a gay youth group meeting if legislation like Amendment 2 passed, would he be more bullied at school then he already was?
And in trying to be honest with him, my response was when you have a government that decides that a certain segment of its citizens are not as valuable or equal as the rest of its citizens, then those citizens are more vulnerable to those who already hate.
His response to me?
Oh hell no! I will do whatever I need to do to make sure this don't pass.
The second experience is that of some older gay men asking me at a gay pride event what Amendment 2 was all about. After I explained it to them and asked if they would take the action of signing the pledge to vote no, their response was that they "could not be bothered".
In case you have not figured out the problem- here we have a youth that we are supposed to be stabilizing our community and society for willing to take action- while the adults (the elders of the community) are apathetic.
While writing this blog, I got a phone call from a married lesbian with two kids who says to me:
My neighbors just put up a yes to Amendment 2 sign in their yard that says keep marriage between one man and one woman, and my kid's have to walk by that every day.
She later than said to me, "In case you couldn't tell this has fired me up." The fact is that Michigan has now experienced an increase of hate crimes since they passed their constitutional amendment.
In the same way that the hate that fuels these sentiments calls those believers to action, we who believe in freedom must also be called to action through love of ourselves, our partners, our community, and our country.
Hate starts the war, but love ceases it. If we want to talk about preventative measures for hate crimes, we cannot ratify hate into any constitution- State or Federal.
Our love for the founding principles of this country, and the evolution of those principles, that all are created equal should call us to take the actions of not only voting no on these hateful measures, but to have the conversations where we share who we are (ordinary tax paying citizens who do not want government interfering with who we love) with our neighbors. We must use all of our resources to defeat such hate.
Win or lose this battle, there should be no doubt that we where engaged and that we took action. After all, it has been said that all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. So let your love call you to action.
Continue to walk in the light, redefine your faith, and remember it's all about the rhythm.