I would be remiss in missing this opportunity to mark the Supreme Court's historic judgment on
Obergefell vs Hodges,
which allowed same-sex marriage to become the law of the land in all 50 United States. It was only 11 years ago that my state, the fabulous Commonwealth of Massachusetts, became the first to recognize that privileging only some citizens with the benefits of marriage could not be sustained by the state Constitution. Our Puritan forebears, peering into the future, would have been aghast, of course, But that's how moral change works -- insight by insight, opened heart by opened heart. We claw our way from one moral paradigm to another only by the passage of time and the slow measurement of our actions against our ideals.
In many ways, the Puritans and we have a lot in common. They were desperate to flee an overweening church hierarchy that limited their freedoms.We do the same, fleeing (legally, if not geographically) from church structures that put limits on our ability to apply the gospel of Jesus Christ in it purest form: to love one another as we love ourselves. It was the brilliant moral framework that Jesus hinted at that allowed us finally to imagine a world in which the love of homosexual partners for each other could be seen as no different from to the love of heterosexuals for one another.
Love is love. And we have finally stopped trying to place various forms of love on a scale or worthiness.
I can only end with the lyrical words of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who said it so brilliantly:
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.
God bless us. God bless our gay brothers and sisters who have been redeemed from lives of exile, oppression and secrecy to a life of stability, mutuality and acceptance. Love wins!