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We will see this through for full spiritual equality.
We will see this through for full spiritual equality.

According to Huffington Post, there is now only one state in the U. S. that is not entertaining a challenge to marriage equality. Finally, the problem has been identified as one of civil rights, which was the conclusion put forth by the landmark case a few years ago that was decided in California.

The argument was that while some people are free to marry whom they wish, others are not. This is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Court after court has seen it this way by now.

The Christian Church has no business weighing in on this legal dispute, in that marriage ought to be conducted solely by churches. I favor the concept of legal partnerships, whatever they are called, except "civil marriages," which term creates controversy in itself. There ought to be civil partnerships that can be solemnized by churches into marriage if they consent, and all partnerships should be equal as far as all rights such as inheritance and adoption are concerned.

However, until that happens many groups that call themselves churches are trying as hard as they can to make sure that LGBT Americans do not enjoy the same rights as the rest of the community. This is not limited to marriage, either--LGBT individuals are barred from ministry along with women in many denominations. A denomination that will "ordain" a six-year-old who can mimic an evangelical preacher will not consider that a woman is capable of actually preaching with an adult understanding of Christianity. Go figure.

Meanwhile, society as a whole has left these people--the preachers and the lawyers--behind in a cloud of dust. The other night I was watching my lineup of television news and commentary when I was brought up short with a commercial for Sealy mattresses. I am familiar with the product, but their closing line was this phrase: "Whatever you do in bed, Sealy supports it."

Come again? The commercial featured short shots of people doing many things in bed, such as reading, and because of that the closing line was in a perfectly harmless context. But if you stop and think, it is definitely a code message to the rational community: a big company is on your side.

This is the kind of thing that encourages those who are part of the struggle to achieve equality in all aspects of life in America. As far as I am concerned, it came at a time that really helped me to see that those of us who look outward for signs of the times can see that we are not alone.

Do we have to give up on the Church, though? We can get a big hug from a corporation, but the un-Christians who espouse the evangelical gospel are unrelenting in their opposition to any normal life for LGBT Americans. As a result their churches are emptying out, and their response is to double down.

I support anyone who is trying to find the courage to separate from a congregation of bigots. You are more than welcome in many churches, from the Unity Church in Tucson to the Episcopal Church (where you will find full equality whether you are straight or gay), the United Church of Christ and many others. Tucson is full of churches where you can pray with an open heart and a clean conscience. And if that isn't enough, there are many organizations like Sealy who feel that it is important to send us the message that what we do in our bedrooms is our business.

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