I've written out what I will say at the Equality Day rally on Monday. We are asked to keep our remarks to 3-4 minutes and that's a bit of a challenge, but I figure two pages, double-spaced, 14 point type in Helvetica is 4 minutes, which is what I have come up with.
I offer those words here for your consideration.
EQUALITY DAY 07, FEB. 26, 2007
Rev. Kit Ketcham
Remember when we went to summer camp that year and sat around a campfire with our fellow campers and sang songs and maybe stared longingly across the circle at a person we were madly in love with that summer? Sing with me, if you remember this old camp song and feel free to harmonize. (Sing first two verses of “Tell Me Why”)
Love is a drive, a yearning, an ability that is so deeply imbedded in each of us that we are compelled to follow its leading. It is a basic human need, to love and to be loved. Our first experience with love is from the parents and others who care for us when we are small, and out of that experience grows the ability to trust, to nurture, to commit to the love which is our birthright and the responsibility of each human being.
If we are not loving, we are not living up to our potential. We are not fulfilling perhaps THE major purpose of our lives-----to love.
As a Unitarian Universalist, I also believe that we human beings have a drive and a deep yearning for justice and we have the responsibility to bring it into our own lives and the lives of others.
We are here today in behalf of Love and Justice. We acknowledge the role of Love in our lives and we are committed to acting in behalf of Justice.
When we come together today, to learn how to fulfill our responsibilities as citizens and to advocate in behalf of citizens who are not getting a fair shake, we are performing a profoundly religious act.
We are saying to the world that we believe in love and justice. We believe that people who love should not be punished for that love. We believe that the world needs more love, not less. We believe that the world is improved by more commitment to loving partnerships, not less.
And we believe in justice as a moral and religious imperative. We are saying to the world that it isn’t right that our friend Jim lost his home when his partner died, that our colleague Ginger couldn’t give her partner the memorial service she would have wanted, that our neighbor MIke couldn’t visit his dying partner in the hospital.
Those who oppose justice for those who love are afraid, afraid of what it means if they question long-held prejudices, afraid of the disapproval of other fearful people, afraid of being generous with their love.
But love can drive out fear. When we love, we take on all the joys and sorrows of love. We commit ourselves to living out the responsibilities of love. And one of those responsibilities is to seek justice in the name of love.
And so I ask you to reach out to those around you, touch a shoulder, take a hand, and join me in telling the world what we are here for, that we stand together here today for Love and for Justice.
Say it with me: We stand together here for Love and Justice. Again, loudly, We stand together here for Love and Justice. And loudest of all, so that all of Washington can hear us, We stand together here for Love and Justice.
Amen, Shalom, Salaam, and Blessed Be.