Image by jessebucksc via FlickrThese are the remarks I had prepared to deliver at the Freedom to Marry Counter Action yesterday in Tucson. However, thanks to the unexpected events where the other couple received a license the rest of the event went in an entirely different direction.
However, despite the wonderful news, the fact remains that if these women move forward and actually get married and file this license it will be a long and extremely difficult court fight. Pima County has already signaled that they consider this a clerical error and the license invalid. While we retain hope that this cracks the door to full equality we are still far away from that reality.
So, because even this happy coincidence gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow, the road will remain long and fraught with hurdles I present my prepared remarks:
"On March 31, 1968 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech at the Washington National Cathedral. Near the end of that speech Dr. King made a statement that still echoes through the decades to us today.
“Were going to win our freedom because both the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of the almighty God are embodied in our echoing demands. And so, however dark it is, however deep the angry feelings are, and however violent explosions are, I can still sing "We Shall Overcome. We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Many lies are told about us. Those who oppose our right to marry and even to love one another sow fear and distrust. They tell us that we can change our orientation. They tell us that we cannot be trusted to raise children. They tell us that our love is a falsehood and that our commitments are meaningless.
As Thomas Carlyle noted almost 200 years ago, no lie can live forever. Each of us stands as a living testament to the falsehoods spread by the “Social Conservative” and “Religious Conservative.”
Michael and I stand before you having seen each other through both the good times and the bad. We have sat beside each other while facing life threatening illnesses. We have taken care of each other as any married couple in this country. We have committed our lives to one another and each day we renew that commitment because in a world where lies are told about our relationship, we must continually fight for even the most basic recognition of our shared love.
Fear drives the opposition to marriage equality. Fear that there are people in this world whose relationships last decades and stand in stark contrast to the 50% divorce rate in this great country. Fear that there are couples who will not give in to pressure to give up. Fear that indeed, being gay is not a choice or a “lifestyle” but an inherent characteristic of the human condition for us. Fear that there is more to marriage than procreation and sex. Fear that love, true love, deep love, love that flies in the face of adversity and hate can and will overcome.
Those opposing marriage equality must know deep down that Dr. King's words ring just as true 41 years later: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it tends toward justice.” There is nothing more moral than love, respect, and mutual support. Even the Bible used so often to beat us up and bloody us affirms that there is no greater commandment than: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” No ballot initiative, no anti-gay amendment, no scare tactic recited from a pulpit can alter that noble truth that justice and truth will prevail.
No matter how many anti-marriage laws they pass. No matter how many Kenneth Starrs dishonestly argue their cases in court, they cannot destroy love. No matter how many times we are turned away at the courthouse door. We will go on. We will continue to love one another. We will always fight them in the legislatures, in the streets, and in the courts. We will continue to stand for the transcendence of love while they fall behind the march of history and the evolution of the human soul.
We will prevail. The road may be long. The battles may be many and we may not win them all, indeed we may not win most. But, in the end we will prevail. Love will go on. Love will always conquer fear and hate! Have hope, for love will prevail!"