Jesus not only cared about the marginalized. He also cared about the marginalized of the marginalized.
We, unfortunately, are still allowing discussions and media reports about marriage to be framed as a debate about same sex marriages at the expense of the marginalized of the marginalized.
In 2012, North Carolina voters approved a state amendment that limited a domestic legal union to a covenant between a man and woman, as if God had not created diverse gender identities and sexual orientations, as if some people don’t exist.
Under the law, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense for a minister to perform a marriage ceremony for a couple that has not obtained a license. Yesterday the United Church of Christ and a group of Charlotte-area ministers announced a lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction that would allow ministers the religious freedom to perform marriages of gender identity and sexual orientation minorities without legal consequences.
The media and opponents of the lawsuit are reporting the denomination has sued in favor of same sex marriage, but the suit is about more than just same sex marriages. When are we going to educate the media to stop reporting our concerns as being solely about “same sex marriage”? How long are we going to allow Christian fundamentalists to reduce the discussion to gay and marriage and procreation?
For example, in response to yesterday’s announcement, David Hains, of the Charlotte Catholic Diocese, commented, “This lawsuit does not change the fact that God created men and women differently. The fruits of that difference are marriage and the continuance of the human race through children.”
No one is debating the fact that women and men have been created differently by God. That’s pretty obvious. What Hains and others fail to understand is the extent to which God has created human beings differently, including intersexed, bi-sexual, and bi-gendered people. Hains would have us believe, in spite of overwhelming, factual evidence to the contrary, God created only heterosexual men and heterosexual women, that God created a binary world.
In terms of the fruits of the difference between men and women, Hains cites marriage and procreation. Hains may want to consider Jesus, who, according to our canonical gospels, was not married and did not have children. How could Hains miss that example! His remarks and theology are insults to human beings who do not get married and/or do not have children by choice or due to medical reasons.
But also tragic and insulting is that Hains and others miss out on, and deny, other great diversity created by God, a diversity described in Leslie Feinberg’s classic, Transgender Warriors.
Sky Renfro describes himself with these words.
My sense of who I am at any given time is somewhere on [a] wheel and the place that I occupy there can change depending on the season and life events as well as a number of other influences.
Trying to envision masculine at one end of a line and feminine on the other, with the rest of us somewhere on that line is a difficult concept for me to grasp. Male and – female – they’re so close to each other, they sit right next to each other on that wheel. They are not at opposite ends as far as I can tell. In fact, they are so close that they’re sometimes not distinguishable. (p. 151)
David Hains meet Sky Renfro, and a multitude of other God-created people who do not fit your fundamentalist dogma.
The time is coming when all of God’s children will be treated equally, including being able to be legally married in the state which they reside.