Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Standing on the Side of Love

On October 11, I participated in the National Equality March in Washington, DC. This march brought together activists from around the country to call for full civil rights for lgbt persons at the local, state, and national levels.

I had the privilege of standing on the rally stage as Rev. Troy Perry offered an invocation. There we were, at the foot of the Capitol Building. I looked out at the tens of thousands of people gathered before us, saw tens of thousands more still marching in, and then looked across the reflecting pool and mall to the Washington Monument. I couldn’t help but think of the many millions of people who have stood here, witnessing for equality and justice. So many streams of justice-making, calling our country to be the very best it can be.

What is it about this country that causes so much division?  Why do we fear and hate difference? Why is it so hard for us to recognize the sacred worth of every person? Why don't we understand that none of us is truly free as long as some of us are oppressed? Democracy hinges on each of us standing up for the rights of each other.

There were many critiques from within the lgbt community leveled at this march: its timing, how it was diverting energy and resources away from local and state battles, how it was asking for too much too soon.  Needless to say, those outside the lgbt community had things to say against this march as well.

For me, I will always choose to stand on the side of love.  Because of my relationship to God and my commitment to follow Jesus, I can do no nothing less.  Love calls us to work for each other's liberation, to take a stand even when it is unpopular or inconvenient, to join together to mobilize love's power to transform. Love's imperative is always "now", never "not yet".  October 11th was the time, DC was the place, to stand on the side of love.

*Photos by Tyler Shaw


  1. Karen - I am campaign manager of the Standing on the Side of Love campaign and I would love to post your blog on our blog. Please contact me at agerhardstein@uua.org.


  2. A meditation teacher once told me that he has led retreats in many countries, and that in some places, participants could not grasp the concept of self-loathing. He has been in awe many times, watching someone truly not understand what it means to hate oneself. I bet those are the countries where (relative) peace exists.

    I think that, collectively, Americans don't love ourselves - and that's what we project out into the already-frenzied fray.