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Respect for marriage, reconciliation and being seen on the White Home garden

(RNS) — Visibility has a price, and massive energy. On Tuesday (Dec. 13), we stood collectively — Jeremy in his rainbow kippah, Laura in her clerical collar — on the White Home garden to bear witness as President Joe Biden signed the Respect for Marriage Act into regulation. We had traveled from Boston, foremost as pals, but additionally as leaders in our respective Jewish and Christian communities. We have been there to see this regulation be signed, and to rejoice, but additionally to be seen. 

Public dedication to religion doesn’t all the time come with out rigidity and ache. The identical goes for public dedication to genuine LGBTQ identification. Every of us has skilled occasions when these we cherish as a part of our personal religion communities don’t cherish us in equal measure. Every of us has endured the ache when a few of our individuals have rejected our legitimacy as religion leaders to serve on their behalf — not less than if we selected to additionally characterize our full selves as queer leaders whereas doing so.

The message is evident: Break up your self in two. Be non secular or queer. However dare not be each.

However we resist the division. It’s an act of devotion to remain linked to oneself, one’s custom, one’s heritage when every thing else is attempting to tug you aside. We are saying in physique and spirit: We is not going to be bifurcated.

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And but, there may be not likely a selection. We simply are queer and non secular. That is who we’re, fearfully and splendidly made.

Mildred Loving, who together with her husband, Richard, was a plaintiff in Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Courtroom case that made interracial marriage authorized within the U.S., mentioned earlier generations have been “bitterly divided over one thing that ought to have been so clear and proper.”

We acknowledge that our presence — our literal embodiment — raises questions that some in our respective non secular communities would slightly ignore. Some want that we simply wouldn’t present up in any respect. Some want all these complexities would simply go away — that folks wouldn’t ask and others wouldn’t inform.

This week, because of bipartisan motion, we moved, lastly, to codify in regulation official recognition of our households, our lives and our identities, to acknowledge that we’re. However Congress not solely codified the rights of interracial and queer households, it codified the liberty not to honor our queer households in non secular areas the place that recognition violates their beliefs. 

In so doing, Congress demonstrated that progress is feasible with out threatening both the rights of religion communities or the rights of queer and interracial households.

Admittedly, lawmakers acted solely when their backs have been towards the wall, when the Supreme Courtroom appeared on the verge of withdrawing these rights that have been as soon as assured, and solely after the Protection of Marriage Act had stood for 36 years.

Nonetheless, our nation has proven that progress is feasible, that recognition in regulation can lastly come, {that a} dynamic rigidity between two freedoms could possibly be resolved in a manner that satisfies the rules of a large majority of our fellow Individuals. That the 2 of us may be seen for who we’re.

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We stood on the White Home garden, seen in all of our identities, resisting the divisions which have been imposed on us and on this huge, messy, multireligious and wildly various nation itself. And we requested ourselves: If Individuals can discover methods to honor a number of identities, a number of values and rights with out compromise or additional division, however with honor and respect for the sacred inside every of us, what else is feasible?

(Jeremy Burton is CEO of the Jewish Group Relations Council of Better Boston. The Rev. Laura Everett is government director of the Massachusetts Council of Church buildings. The views expressed on this commentary don’t essentially replicate these of Faith Information Service.)

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