A good week for marriage equality, but struggles still continue

I woke up this morning and found the following three items in my Twitter feed:

It is gratifying to see that the judiciary all over the world is recognizing marriage equality as a civil rights issue. It’s a bumpy ride for LGBT rights right now, and I think that this is an era of gains and losses for LGBT civil rights as religious conservatives foist their internal struggle with bigotry on the rest of us. As a result, religious institutions like the Catholic Church are making unfortunate decisions like ending the foster care program in Washington DC because the Archdiocese there doesn’t want to recognize same-sex marriages.

Meanwhile, Ugandans live in fear for their lives while anti-gay legislation is debated in that country, and in Malawi police have been conducting an anti-gay sweep. Stories like this demonstrate the danger that LGBT folks endure just living their lives day to day.

It is truly astonishing to witness the disconnect of so-called “pro-life” Christian activists who continue to prioritize their own fear and bigotry over protecting human lives that are threatened by violence, hunger, and poverty.

Life and Choice

“Pro-life” and “pro-choice” are not mutually exclusive terms. Indeed, I claim to be both.

I am pro-life. I value all living things that the Creator has blessed us with. I embrace my responsibility as a human being to steward the Earth and its resources.

I am pro-choice. I believe that women should have the right to privately make decisions about their reproductive health with her doctor and her loved ones.

Right-wing Christians who call themselves “values voters” don’t have the lock on moral issues that they claim. My moral compass informs my politics and the way that I vote. I support candidates and policies that I believe will build a just society.

  • I support family values, where every child is a wanted child, no person fears violence in their own home, and where any loving marriage between two consenting adults is honored and respected.
  • I support environmental conservation and policies that make sustainable day-to-day living practices possible for more people.
  • I support fairness and economic justice for everyone.
  • I believe that healthcare is a right.
  • I support public education.
  • I support working for peace with justice, and working towards building a non-violent society whether it is combating gun-violence in urban neighborhoods or finding diplomatic solutions to international conflicts.
  • I support the abolition of the death penalty.

As articulated by the Matthew 25 Network, I support “life with dignity, caring for the least of these, supporting families, stewardship of God’s creation, working for peace and justice at home and abroad, and promoting the common good.”

Perhaps I have a broader definition of what being “pro-life” means than how it is used in popular discourse. In the same way that I am reclaiming my religious faith, I want to reclaim what it means to be pro-life. I want all children to be born into a sustainable peaceful world where they have access to the food and healthcare they need, the education that they deserve, peaceful parks and clean air in their cities and towns, diverse communities where they can learn about and respect different cultures and traditions, and freedom to make decisions about their personal lives. I want all people to be able be who they are and to live without fear for doing so.

These are the Pro-Life values that I embrace.