Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Lookout Lawrence, Kansas...

Indianapolis has your number. Yes, Lawrence, Kansas, where there is not even a debate over whether or not Intelligent Design should be taught in science classes (they're all for it), already had a city ordinance that made discrimination against gay folks in the workplace and housing market illegal. And as of last night, so does Indianapolis!

From the Indianapolis Star:

The proposal to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace and housing market passed on a 15-14 vote after Langsford and three Democrats changed sides. It had failed 18-11 in April.

"This has changed my view of Indianapolis now that I know the majority of residents support equal rights," said Susan Hazer, the mother of a gay daughter.

Amen sister. While it was no easy battle for people on either side of the issue and the vote was hardly a landslide, the result was favorable. And it does show that at least in some cases, prejudice can be overcome.

I was really down after last week's hearing. The barrage of rage-filled rants against people like me were painful. My pastor, Mike was there. I know he was tired after working all day but he came and stayed throughout the four hours of testimony, including mine, and at the end he had a big smile and a hug for me. I needed it. The next day he sent me a message with this prayer:

It is a prayer by a friend of mine by the name of Stanley Hauerwas...and it goes a little like this...

Dear Lord, I am filled with anger born of frustration. I confess I know not whether all my anger is of you. I just know I am filled with hope, which makes me angry that others are not so filled. Take away the self-aggrandizing righteousness that so often accompanies such anger, but please do not rob me of the anger. It is energy. Make it to be of service. Help me pass it on. We are taught by the world to fear anger. Yet we know that you are a just judge, angry because we are not justly angry. We want you to be like us -- get along by going along. You will not play that game. You expect your church to be faithful--yes, angry. Make us a people with dark bows capable of scaring a few folks. May they look at us and say,'Those guys are so filled with love their anger overflows.' Amen.

I have decided that, for better or worse, it is very American to have to fight battles like this one and the ones that are coming up. It also is American to stay in the U.S. to do it. And it is JUST as American to win. Today Indianapolis is one small step closer to that goal.


Blogger juliebelle said...


6:56 AM  
Anonymous David said...

i just don't understand why we had to fight in the first place. though happy for the vote last night, i'm still a bit saddened, and mentally exhausted at the thought of it all. i kind of feel like now i have this label attached that says, "look, now i can be like everyone else" when it should have been that way all along. like a runner in the middle miles of a marathon in that i've got some distance under me but so much more to go...will i endure this marathon? you bet...i always do....i have NEVER quit a race, and never will. run beside me friends, lets keep going.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Troy said...

Thanks Julie. And Dave, I know what you mean. Dan Carpenter of the Star called today and was asking me what I thought of the vote (I have no idea why he called me). I told him, that it is amazing that the vote was so close. Business owners should realize that the goal is not to let the "least of these" work. The simple fact is that people are less creative and productive when they have to spend energy hiding huge chunks of their life and fearing that what they might say about their family could get them fired. This vote should be celebrated by the business minded among us for the fact that it frees up the creative energy people have to give to their jobs.

3:41 PM  

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