Wow, the last 24 hour have been a roller coaster ride, yes? Starting with yesterday’s Supreme Court decision that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act to be unconstitutional. We need to make it easier to vote, not harder! I wasn’t happy with this, but I took a deep breath and hoped for better news in the next couple of days.
Then my attention turned to the #standwithwendy hashtag and the live feed of the Texas Senate session, where Wendy Davis was filibustering, SB5, which would have closed most of the health centers in Texas that provide abortions. I listened while I was making dinner, impressed with her abilities to draw this out and keep going. “What is she going to do when she runs out of things to say?” I smiled as she and her supporters made sure to speak slowly and draw out everything. In the evening, my husband and I were planning on watching Star Trek, but the suspense in Texas was so great, we had to pause it and listen. Who among us didn’t go, “Oh ZING!” when Senator Leticia Van De Putte asked, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?”
And the cheering… oh those last 10 minutes! Who couldn’t get caught up in that?! When 12pm in Texas struck, I opened our front door and shouted, “WOOO TEXAS!” a phrase I don’t think I’ve ever said. I was so loud our neighbors came outside wondering if something was wrong (there has been a lot of crime in our neighborhood lately). And I was glued to the live feed as it seemed that the Texas senate was going to ignore their rules and count a late vote anyway. Then I went to sleep.
Right before 7 PST, I woke up and saw that the Texas senate realized they weren’t fooling the 170,000+ viewers the night before and conceded the filibuster. Then the next wave of news came rolling in.
DOMA. The Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional and Prop 8 was kicked back to California. I donned my rainbow scarf as I went about my morning.
This afternoon I found myself in San Francisco at the Religious Leaders Press Conference, where Jewish, Catholic, Episcopalian, Mormon, Evangelical, and more leaders had decided they’d meet to comment on the ruling. This meeting had been planned for weeks.
As the trolley approached Grace Cathedral, it was obvious where the meeting was; a rainbow balloon arch was the centerpiece of the photo ops. Grace Cathedral has a lovely labyrinth outside and I told my kids that labyrinths are symbols of Heavenly Mother and they could walk it if they wanted.
While my attention was split between listening to the speakers and making my children didn’t fall off of ledges, it was inspiring to pray and listen with the greater religious community.
Mitch was the second to last speaker; he started his words, “My name is Mitch Mayne, and I am an openly gay, active Mormon. And I am your ally in our quest for marriage equality.” There was an audible gasp of surprise from the press. The rest of his remarks are here:
This is Reverend Dr. Amos C. Brown of the NAACP and San Franciosco’s Third Baptist Church speaking.
Afterwards, I found more Mormons, including our favorite Carol Lynn Pearson. I told my daughter that Carol Lynn wrote a book about Heavenly Mother and she told Carol Lynn about her labyrinth adventures.
I also found Christine of the Catholic Women’s Ordination Conference.
Did you mark this historic day? Where you one of the 170,000+ people watching the Texas state senate last night? Is the Supreme Court Decision on the Voter’s Rights Act going to affect you and your friends?