“Love Wins!” was the shout heard around the world on Friday, June 26, 2015 as the decision “granting marriage equality for same-sex couples” came down from the Supreme Court of the United States. The jubilation was further enhanced with the continuation of affordable healthcare access, voting rights, and a woman’s right to choose…all in one Supreme Court session.
But as happy and blissful as we are, we cannot disregard that these victories are tempered by the harsh reality of mourning the murders of 9 faithful souls in a Black Church in Charleston, SC. at the hands of gunman suspected of espousing messages of racial hatred. Times such as these always bring to my mind the words of the visionary – genius artist, Stevie Wonder,
“Love’s in need of love today.
Don’t delay… send yours in right away.
Hate’s going round breaking many hearts.
Stop it, please, before it’s gone too far
This song perfectly explains the times we’re living through and the work that is yet left for the LGBT community to complete. Let us start with acknowledging that LGBTQ people of all configurations experience dramatic differences in representation, power and treatment. Consequently, many of the issues facing the general LGBT population are even worse for people of color. For example, LGBT people of color are almost twice as likely to experience physical violence, and 73.1% of all anti-LGBTQ homicide victims are people of color. Thus, racial justice, or “the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equal opportunities and outcomes for all,” is not specific to LGBT people, but true justice for LGBT people cannot be achieved if everyone is not liberated. After all, all oppression is connected.
Yet we get so caught up in our circumstances sometimes that we don’t always see the needs of others. Even more, how can anyone honestly believe that “All we need is love” with all of the atrocities imposed on our community, not to mention poverty and disease. Well, there is a common belief that people who feel loved typically enjoy better health and live longer, are more productive at work or at school, or in their communities. Love is also believed to inspire positive emotions and actions such as happiness, joy, security, self-worth, trust, kindness, sensitivity, empathy, charity. All of which leads to an acceptance that more love in the world diminishes the world’s hate, hostility, prejudice, resentment, greed, oppression, exploitation, selfishness, conflict, and poverty, among other negative aspects of life.
Love however, by itself is hollow. Mr. Wonder went on to say in his song,
“Love’s in need of love today”
“We all must take Precautionary measures
If love and peace you treasure
Then you’ll hear me when I say…
It’s up to you because
Love’s in need of love today.
Send yours in right away Right a-way…”
In order for love to be effective, it has to be nurtured. And if we agree that love does make a difference, how or what would we do to have more love in our world? Who of us willing to be an agent to make this change?
Those of us who are Lesbian or Gay simply cannot rest in our victory of marriage equality which is born from a sense of “Homonationalism” – the belief gay people are politically united by sexual orientation. Therefore, so that all LGBT can people feel like a full citizens of this country we must no longer ignore: Trans women murdered every week; abused Trans and queer people in immigration detention; gender-non conforming women fired from their teaching or school bus driver jobs; the Black queers followed by security at malls or stopped while driving; or the young Trans or queer kid of color harassed by “respectable” white queers and cops alike. Lastly, use these words as a reason for action:
it is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. (Galatians 5:13-MSG)
Yours in fellowship….Reverend Gale Jones, Pastor