Monday, October 03, 2005

Yesterday in Massachusetts Ministers and Priests preached against gay marriage

and petitions were available outside to get "one man, one woman only" marriage on the ballot. Because of course, America has such a good track record of protecting civil rights by vote.

I am reminded of 20 years ago when my grandmother attended her last Nazarene Church service near Plymouth Mass. The minister mentioned that there was a petition on the back table to "ban homosexuals from teaching in public schools."

I was a 5th grade teacher at that time, and my grandmother was proud of me. She poked at my grandfather to get up, and she walked out, never to return.

What's so amazing is that my Nana cared a great deal what people thought of her. She was the neighborhood busybody, and could probably have put some of the busybodies on Wisteria Lane to shame. A few years before, she was one of those people who talked about the "blacks, jews, and homosexuals." (My brother and I had hid behind a couch when we were children and counted the number of prejudiced, racist, and anti-semitic things she said one Saturday afternoon. I still have the little notebook I checked them off on -- Harriet the Spy style.) Her world changed when I came out, and she changed with it. Her growing awareness of predjudice against lgbt people increased her (self) awareness of racism and anti-semitism. It doesn't always work like that, and I was proud of her.

Yesterday people had petitions outside houses of worship. I wonder how many grandmothers left their faith communities.

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