The headline read, “VP Pence supports Trump Administration’s Decision to Bar US Embassies From Flying Pride Flags”. My first thought was, that’s not even news.
It’s not news when it’s entirely predictable. The President said no to American embassies in other countries that asked to fly the flag during Pride Month. The Vice-President, Mike Pence, who believes it’s a sin to be in a room alone with another woman who is not his wife (look it up!) is notoriously opposed to LGBTQ+ rights. So is the Sir Orange Head of the Oval Office. Oh, he tweeted his support at the beginning of the month but no one believed him, with good reason.
Every law in every nation could ban discrimination against same sex couples and discrimination would still exist. The law is only one facet of change. Check out this not-so-fun fact from the province of Ontario.
Same-sex marriage has been legal here since 2003, but officiants don’t have to perform such ceremonies. In a US state, not making a cake for a gay couple makes national news. Here, the couple is told no because of their lifestyle, and they simply move on.
This isn’t okay. I believe that if you don’t want to follow the law, you should find another line of work. It’s become acceptable under-the-rug discrimination. It makes me ill to think of anyone turned away from marrying because of their sexuality. What if the “issue” was their skin colour?
This has a connection to a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the difference between acceptance and tolerance. However, neither one is in play here. And the officiant is free to be intolerant. It’s a marriage for goodness sake!
Our dear friend, Reverend Laurie Nevin, is one of the few non-denominational officiants in the London area who believe love is love, and she happily performs ceremonies for same-sex couples while most – yes most – of her colleagues will not. Laurie is also a certified Life Coach, among her many other skills and talents.
This whole situation makes me even prouder to call Laurie (we call her The Rev Nev!) my friend. She’s one of the most loyal, decent and beautiful people I’ve ever known. A wedding is a wedding, whether those involved are straight or gay. And changing the law simply isn’t enough.
On a related note, a man in Pennsylvania went to the local pride parade and offered free Dad hugs! People walked out of the parade route and hugged the father of two. Some cried. Some said they had been rejected by their own parents and this hug was validating and important. It’s a beautiful story HERE.