Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lifted whole grain

from the much-admired Band of Thebes blog:

Cambridge Mayor & Her Wife:

Nation's First Black Church Gay Wedding

Aadeni Exactly eight blocks down Harvard Street from Skip Gates' house is St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, where this Sunday the nation's first lesbian black mayor will marry her partner in America's first same sex wedding in a black church. In terms of actual historical significance, the legal union of Cambridge Mayor Denise Simmons and Mattie Hayes by a black minister in a black church is more important than the wrongful arrest of a black professor in his own house by a white police officer. Monday morning, for the first time ever, lgbt members of black churches nationwide will wake up with the leverage of being able to say to their pastors, "St. Barts will marry us, why won't you?" and conscientious black leaders will have to begin shifting their thinking from "if" to "when." As all houses of worship grapple with degrees of lgbt acceptance and as religious organizations play an increasing decisive role in US politics, this first minority foothold marks a monumental step forward in the march toward equality. It should be a national story, yet it hasn't even appeared in the Boston Globe five days after Simmons sent out her press release. You might ask why the black preachers who speak against homosexuality get so much coverage in the mainstream media while this good news is ignored by everyone: NYT, LAT, WashPo, CNN, even Towleroad and Pam's House Blend haven't mentioned it. Possibly they're waiting until after the nuptials, but it's already big news online in the UK and France.

Simmons' press release concludes with:

“I believe this may be the very first African-American church to hold a same gender wedding, and that’s something that just wouldn’t have happened years ago. But times are changing, people are becoming more accepting of their fellow citizens, and we are slowly arriving at more of a ‘live-and-let-live’ kind of world. It’s not an easy process, and there have certainly been some detours along the way, but I think all the kind words I’ve received about this ceremony suggest we’re living in a friendlier, more open society. Our society is definitely making progress.”

Really, Simmons and Hayes should be the Cambridge-ites invited to the White House for a beer. Or champagne.

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