So why do we continue to celebrate Gay Pride? It is for actual equality. Here’s why:
- LGBT people can still be fired or denied housing or public accommodations for no other reason than the simple fact of who we are in just about as many states as same-gender couples can now get legally married.
- Transgender people worldwide are regularly shot, stabbed, beaten, burned, mutilated, tortured, strangled, hanged or stoned – generally to death – simply for being who they are. It’s why the single biggest transgender-focused event in any community is a day of remembrance to honor those who have suffered in the last 365 days.
- About 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBT. LGB youth are also 4 times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers – and this is in a context where suicide is already the second leading cause of death among young people age 10-24.
And, this is to say nothing of adoption rights, wage gaps, transgender underemployment, and unemployment… you get the picture.
My point being that, while it has been thrilling to see same-gender love advance from second-class status in America, it’s important for us – and for our allies and observers – to understand that the fight for marriage equality in many ways happened on its own timetable thanks to the courts. However, the fight and struggle are not over. There are people out there who want us to be quiet, sit-down and go back to our closets. As long as that is the case, each year at this time we will stand with Pride, Courage and the Love of God in our hearts.
Most importantly let us not forget these powerful words of scripture: Matthew 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: “Love others as well as you love yourself.” These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.