IT TAKES STRENGTH TO BE GENTLE AND KIND
Portland, OR, has started to hand out marriage licenses to same sex couples. Noble people looked at our law and noted it was not illegal within our city, and the county said they'd do it. Legality of said licenses may be overturned at some point, but wouldn't it be stupid not to try? Change isn't made by wishing and hoping.
Turns out, the courthouse is only a few blocks away from the Oni office. At lunch, we saw the line went down the street. It was lovely.
So, on my walk to my bus stop, I decided to take an alternative route and pass by the throngs waiting. Unfortunately, as I approached, I realized the day had ended there, too, and the line was gone. Only a few remained. A young female couple was walking towards me. They were holding hands and leaning on each other, and one had a manila envelope in her hand that I knew had to be what they had gone there to find. As I passed, I simply said, "Congratulations." They said, "Thanks," and their faces--the joy that these faces held. It was remarkable. I've never seen anything like it.
At the courthouse, protesters remained. There weren't a ton of them, but they were huddled together behind a barricade, blocked off from the normal folks like animals. They had signs that I personally consider to be blasphemy, since their religion has no hatred in it (they'd know that if they looked for themselves and stopped listening to others). A boy of about ten had a sign that said, "God wants me to have a Mom and a Dad." A woman with white hair stood behind him, snug in her sweater vest, her hands on his shoulders. I stuck my hands in my pockets, since the only response I could think of was to punch her in the face. Violence of the mind invokes violence of the body.
I kept walking, pausing only to note to one older man that I found his "Siemens" hat to be ironic. I don't know what Siemens is, and I am not sure that this person knows irony has nothing to do with wrinkled clothes, but I am a smart ass when it's all said and done. He ignored me, anyway. His eyes were cold and unmoving. I smiled. I decided not to tell him that his sign was wrong. It does not take courage to enforce the law, because then the law is on your side; it takes courage to rail against the law when it is unjust, to be an outlaw. (Nor did it seem to matter that he was wrong because the whole point was that our local laws put no restrictions on marriage.)
On the next block were two men, another manila envelope. I asked if congratulations were in order, they said they were, and I extended them. They had the same look as the women. Smiling, their eyes bright, free in the early evening sunshine.
Which faces do you think Jesus looks more kindly upon?
Current soundtrack: The Smiths, The Queen is Dead