All posts by Kerry Chaplin

Wise Words from the Reverend

(Well worth a read. Leave a comment so Kerry will come blog more. – promoted by Julia Rosen)

In “A Year Later and Where are We” on Unite the Fight, Rev. Roland Stringfellow challenges our Equality Movement if we have embraced the lessons we learned during and after the No on Prop 8 campaign:

Here we are a year later and where do we find ourselves in the fight for marriage equality in California?  Two major camps debating on whether to return to the ballot in 2010 or 2012 and we have to ask ourselves the question, “Have we learned from our mistakes?”  Are egos and attitudes being altered in order for power to be shared and different voices heard?  Has a clear strategy been created and presented?  And what about our motivation – are we still angry and humiliated from our loss a year ago that we are planning to return to the polls with revenge?

While Rev. Stringfellow suggests some answers, he more importantly calls on us to self-evaluate. We are asking voters and society to recognize the dignity of LGBT people, but are we recognizing the value and dignity of those different from us? Of those who live on the East side, over the bridge or in the middle? Of those with whom we disagree about 2010 or 2012? Even of those who do not yet recognize our inherent human dignity as LGBT people?

We politicos are strategic thinkers and implementers who focus much of our energy on winning campaigns, but to achieve permanence in our victories we must ask and answer these questions.

Our campaign-driven focus helps us to win, but our Movement will ensure the effects of that win will last. Faith traditions are powerful examples of movements surviving and persevering over time, sometimes in the face of persecution. They survive because they ask the big questions and because they know the sustaining value of gathering in community. Across denominations, the core value in faith communities is relationship – relationship with one another, with their particular tradition and with something greater than themselves. It has sustained faith communities for thousands of years.

In my Jewish tradition, one of the first songs a child learns is hineh ma tov u’mah na’im shevet ahim gam yahad, loosely translated “How good it is to be together in relationship again.” Just as our Equality Movement needs campaign-driven focus, we need again to realize how good it is to be united in our purpose: Equality for ALL people.

One year later, our Equality Movement must learn this lesson in order to persevere.

On November 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, Keeping the Faith for Equality events throughout California give us this opportunity for relationship. One year later, CA Faith for Equality, Courage Campaign, Equality California, Marriage Equality USA, and many, many other organizations and faith communities are gathering not to dwell on our loss a year ago, but to embrace the lessons we learned from that loss. Visit to find an event in your area.