This year's theme for Portland's Gay Pride Parade was, "Pride: Bring It!"
I'm pleased to say, my parish brought it. Here I was afraid that our group would be pitifully small, so I had us join up with the largest parish in the state, Trinity Cathedral, so we wouldn't be lonely. Well, Trinity sent two people and we sent eighteen, which included our entire clergy staff, three members of the Vestry, and straight allies with children. I think that's pretty dang good for our first appearance! We're already talking about what to do differently (better, more) next year.
I mean, look at these people. This is the untold story of Gay Pride, folks. The media and the conservatives like to focus on the scantily or otherwise outrageously clad. What they don't show you is a group of devout Christians, gay and straight, who came directly to the parade from the Eucharist. A couple of local columnists remarked that the endless welcoming religious groups are kinda dull because our outfits aren't especially interesting. (Well, come to an Episcopal church on a Feast Day and behold the fabulousness.) But in a way, aren't we the crucial part?
In his speech at the Lambda Legal Liberty Awards in Manhattan in 2006, Bishop Gene Robinson of the Diocese of New Hampshire remarked, "Religion is the source of our oppression." Well, the good people at my church and in congregations across the country and around the world aim to make religion the source of our liberation. As the Reverend Canon Mary Haddad of Grace Cathedral put it once, "If it's not good news for everybody, it's not good news."
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Rocky will kill me for including this picture, but I couldn't resist.