…he considers me equal.
Today I watched the second inauguration of President Obama. It was the seventeenth inauguration in my lifetime and the first time I shed a tear. Some presidents I voted for. Some presidents I voted against. Some presidents I was too young to understand or care what it meant.
This was the first inauguration that mentioned me, a gay American, as fully equal in citizenship.
The key word is equal. I, and others in the GLBTQ community, do not seek anything special. We want to be equal, not lesser than. We simply demand that discriminatory laws that prohibit equality be repealed. President Obama gets it:
I could not control my tears. As a social justice Christian, as an educator, and as a gay man, the words of the President moved me to a new point in my life. The dialogue of nearly one-half century convinced me that our leadership would never accept me, much less embrace me, as a full citizen of the country. Nevertheless, the President likened my desire to be considered an equal citizen of the country to that same struggle of women and ethnic minorities in past centuries.
Contrary to what the naysayers scream, there is nothing special about equality.
Equality is bland drudgery compared to discrimination. Seneca Falls, Selma, and soon Stonewall, have shown this.
In physics, negative energy leads to nothingness. In theology anything that does not build-up destroys. Both science and religion recognize the power of positive and negative.
Hatred consumes the hater.
Love energizes the lover.
Discrimination limits the discriminator.
Light overcomes darkness.
That the President understands the difference signals a change of perspective greater than I expected to see in my lifetime. More and more people understand just what he means when he says, “We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still….”