Monday, November 17, 2008

A Citizen, A Christian, A Mother

In Denver, over 1,000 attended the "Join the Impact - Protest Prop 8" rally for equal rights for the LGBTQ community in front of City Hall on Saturday, November 15th. Episcopalians were amongst the organizers, lining up speakers and entertainers, and a gay Episcopal priest and I were among the speakers. Below is the text of my remarks from Saturday.

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I come before you today as a citizen, a Christian, and a mother.

As a citizen, I have pledged allegiance to this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

As a mother, I have taught my children that the single most important decision that they can make in their entire lives is choosing whom to love, from the decision to love God to the decision to love another human being as their life partner.

As a mother, I have taught my children to discern the difference between myth and reality and the importance of knowing the difference.

As the descendent of Chinese immigrants who came to this country, known in the Chinese language as mei guo or beautiful country, I am grievously saddened that this country to which I have pledged allegiance is not so beautiful after all, and that the words “with liberty and justice for all” contained in our pledge of allegiance is myth and not reality today.

As a mother, I rejoiced when my lesbian daughter chose her life partner, because my daughter had shown wisdom and judgment in choosing someone who loves her unconditionally and who will support her in sickness and in health, until death parts them.

As a mother, I grieve that this great nation, a leader among nations, currently does not live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all, because my daughter, who is in a life-long committed relationship, does not have the same civil rights that legal marriage confers, merely because the person my daughter has chosen to love is another woman.

As a thinking human being, I ask you, how just is that?

As a Christian, I am called to love God and to love my neighbor as myself. As a Christian, I am compelled to strive for justice and equal rights for ALL God’s people and to uphold the dignity of every human being . . . of every human being, no exceptions.

As a citizen, I say to you, it is our utmost duty to urge this great nation of ours to live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all. As citizens, our country demands this of us.

As a mother, I say to you, we know the difference between the current myth of “justice for all” in laws that deny the right of same-sex partners to marry and the reality yet to be realized of true justice for all when women who love women and men who love men can marry one another and live in the security that the law will protect and uphold them and their relationships, their children and their property rights.

Sisters and brothers, I stand before you and say, “Never give up. Never give in. Let us change the laws that currently divide us into those who have justice and those who do not. Together let us make justice for all a reality and retire the myth.”

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