Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Equal rights! The chant filled the night in LA.

Tonight, I was in West Hollywood at the Pacific Design Center on the corner of San Vincente and Santa Monica Blvd. Thousands of people gathered and marched up to Sunset Blvd. and from there to Crescent Heights and from there back to Santa Monica Blvd. People came out of shops and restaurants and cheered. They joined in the march. The streets were packed with marchers, the energy was palpable. The forces of repression may well have done something of a favor for our community. They may have ignited a new passion and sense of purpose.

Tomorrow, we were invited to demonstrate in front of the Mormon Temple on Santa Monica Blvd. a group that has pumped tens of millions of dollars into California to write their religious views into our State's Constitution. Lest, I be accused of partiality, perhaps a visit to the Catholic Cathedral of Los Angeles should be next. For those unfamiliar with the history of the twentieth century, the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna encouraged Catholics to vote "YES" for the union of Austria to Hitler's Third Reich in 1938. Another, disturbing example of bishops playing politics.

The following message is from one of our readers, I felt compelled to share it with everyone as a post:

"There's still MORE good news to note at this point amid the loss - the California Attorney General has stated that the passage of Prop 8 does NOT invalidate the same-sex marriages that already have taken place in California, and he's said he is ready to defend that stance in court if pressed. So, supposedly we have the State of California on our side.

The lawsuit that you mention has been filed by Lambda Legal, along with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the ACLU on behalf of Equality California and six same-sex couples.

If any of your readers aren't familiar with these non-profit groups, they should look them up - they are tirelessly and relentlessly fighting for our rights within the legal system, not only marriage rights, but adoption, child custody, school discrimination, job security and more. Let's talk family values, shall we?

The men and women within their ranks who are working on cases like these are the unsung heroes who still need our continued support.

So, not only do we have time and momentum on our side, we've got folks like this fighting for us on the inside, too.

It ain't over yet."

If your parish promoted "yes on 8" perhaps, you could take your normal weekly contribution and send it to one of the aforementioned organizations. Replace your normal contribution with a note in your weekly offering envelope explaining that you will continue to do this until, a public apology is made from the pulpit to gay and lesbian parishioners and their families.


Anonymous said...

I want these religious institutions to lose their tax exempt status. They violated the law.

The fight isn't over by a long shot. There are still Absentee and provisional ballots to be counted.

I've spent most of today crying and drinking, but now I'm ready to fight.

planet trans said...

Thank you Father Geoff for posting this. We will be with you in spirit. I am looking up a local Mormon chapter in Dallas so I can stand with you. You rock Father Farrow!

christina said...

what a great post (and all your posts, been following for a while)...i was there last night too & it was very empowering to literally feel all the support.

thank you for all you do.

Unknown said...

I'm a Newman Center parishioner and a supporter of yours, but I have to disagree with the idea of stopping making weekly contributions to the church.

This issue is not the church, it is a part of it. To withhold a contribution would be to ignore the good that the church does.

I think a more just idea would be to match whatever contributions you make to the church and give to non-profit organizations like the ACLU.

Anonymous said...

I am in San Diego. I am glad I read this. I want to protest too. Like Rose, all I have been doing is crying. I feel a tremendous sense of loss and betrayal. I feel I need something like a protest to help me move on and get people to see that we as a people will not give up.

I wish they could clone you and send a copy down to San Diego. I would join you in demonstrating out in front of Catholic churches. I used to be Catholic.

Unknown said...

Geoff Farrow,

I voted No on proposition 8 and am devastated that it past. Even more alarming though is that prop 2 was approved overwhelming by 63% of Californian voters. What this shows me is that Christians and Mormans alike care more about animal rights than human rights because many of those who voted Yes on 2 also voted Yes on 8.

Also, I would like to add that the Mormans and Christians have overstepped their boundaries by promoting Prop 8. Preachers, pastors and priest are all guilty of abusing there influence over their congregations to further a political agenda. Using the pulpit as a political vehicle is shameful and disgraceful. I believe religious pressure is just as bad as peer pressure if not worse. In the end proponents of Prop 8 will always conclude with 'but the bible says, but the bible says, but but..!' Well, I will not debate that, however you should think of what is good for others and not blindly follow religion. Please keep in mind that many things can be followed blindly, not just religion, but also friends, family and political parties. To conclude, religion should not enter politics and vice versa.

Lastly, I believe religion is a poisonous drug which has proven to cause more division than unity and not just in the past but even currently we continue to see the negative affects of religion on our society.

“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”

-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

Ron said...

An RC priest here. The bishops are going to pay a price for all their political manuevering.

One, no one pays them much heed as far as voting, Obama still got elected. If they keep yammering on they will make it impossible for any Catholic to get elected to high office.

Two, when they try and tell people how to vote it pisses them off and they do the opposite (remember the days when they condemned movies? That was a sure way to guarantee that the theater would be sold out.)

Thirdly, people are leaving over this issue. I ran into a former parishioner in the grocery store. She is now Episcapalian. She has several gay family members. She is always nice to me because of the inclusiveness of our parish (we had a female pastoral associate who preached). However she left Catholicism because of the Catholic hierarchy's attitude toward women in ministry and gays. She said, "the Catholic bishops support of Prop 8 is why I am now Episcapalian, same God but more tolerant." I urged her to write our RC bishop who is obsessed with the issue.

I also have a pastor friend who received a letter from a long time parishioner who was a significant donor who has not only left the parish over this issue but has resigned from being catholic.

Fourth, people will see through their faulty logic--how does people wanting to get married ruin marriage? If marriage is in a sorry state isn't it the people who were already married made it that way?

The hierarchy are looking for scapegoats for their own miserable performance and ratings. So they blame gay priests, gays in general, and the "contraceptive mentality" for all the ills of the Church and society.

They still act like Renaissance princes trying to govern by fiat rather than modern leaders who listen and dialogue. We need to have a serious conversation about the nature of marriage not a ballot initiative! They just don't get it.

This will come back and bite them. Thanks for the courage to speak out and keep the conversation alive!

Witchy Dr said...

When we look at the current attempts in the United States to ban homosexual marriage, we must clarify what the premises for such measures are. If the drive to stop homosexual marriage ultimately derives from the Bible, and its acceptance as religious truth, would not laws banning homosexual marriage be thus derived from religion? If so, such new legislation may well be an attempt to break down the “Wall of Separation” between Church and State that Thomas Jefferson described as an integral aspect of American government. Religious edicts do not belong in any state constitution. It would be the start of eroding the lines of separation between church and state.

Our ’separation’ of church and state has been muddled and this attempt to amend the constitution to add religious values about marriage places us in the same category as radical Islamic nations and their religious laws incorporated into their constitutions. How are we different then from those nations where the religious doctrine is part of their constitution and laws?

musicminister said...
Father Geoff, my friend in Virginia sent this to encourage everyone who may be feeling like they've been betrayed one too many times, and maybe this time, they may just not get back up to finish the fight. Please don't give up. I know you won't, but please watch this amazing video if you feel a bit down. Thanks (I hope it posts, I'm not certain how to do this, as I never have before...and I finally got a blog identity :)

Kay & Sarah said...

Father Geoff, I think you are right in suggesting that people consider making a donation to an organization that supports LGBT rights. People tend to be more understanding when the issue affects their pocketbooks.

Anonymous said...

I am at the same time so proud of my country, and yet so profoundly embarrassed by the ignorant bigots of my state.

I am a white, Catholic, straight woman who is questioning my religion. My God loves all.

Thank you for your voice.

Anonymous said...

I noted in my previous comment that the religious institutions who abused their power for political reasons should lose their tax-exempt status.

Clearly I am not the only one who feels this way.

Fran said...

My friends were there too.

I love what you say about the collection money/contributions - great idea.

Pax to you - keep writing and fighting.

Bill said...

I am very glad to see that you continue to fight for justice, offer positive suggestions for change, and keep us informed and encouraged through this website.

ADHD-Buddy said...

Father Geoff,

For the past few days I have been saddened to a point I never could imagine. As a person who was born Catholic, I'm devastated to see all the hatred in the newspaper message boards.
Thank you for your support and keeping this blog up. You give us all hope of the love that should be in this world.



Unknown said...

Father Geoff,

What I hope in the protests that are happening throughout the state is that people stop making this a "race" issue. I have heard of some people using the N word towards blacks, who voted No on 8 and are marching with the LGBT community in solidarity, because they feel that the black vote was partially to blame. As a community we cannot go there, we need to stay in solidarity and to keep fighting the fight as a united front.

Sara said...

"I am a white, Catholic, straight woman who is questioning my religion. My God loves all."

I think it's important to make the distinction between religion and God. I'm Presbyterian and we are struggling within the denomination with the same issues. Where I come from we have more of a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. However, we do have openly gay clergy.

It will happen, it just, apparently, wasn't the time.

Father Geoff - You rock!