Today in Maine, in Washington state and Kalamazoo, Michigan, there will be votes that directly affect the LGBT community. Maine has received the most focus because, like California last year, it is a state where the political leadership has approved same-sex marriage--and there is a referendum to try to undo the will of the politicians--the ones voted into office to, presumably, represent the interests of their constituents.
In Washington state, there is a challenge on the ballot to the state's domestic partnership law which also covers straight couples over the age of 62. And in Kalamazoo, the city is trying to keep an ordinance banning discrimination against the LGBT community in housing and the workplace.
These are all very important votes not just for the LGBT people living in these areas, but for all of us who are queer in the United States. It was about this time last year that voters turned out in record numbers to cast ballots for President Barack Obama. At the same time, voters in California, Florida, Arizona and Arkansas, responded to their fears or their inability to decipher the intent of ballot measures that slammed our community hard.
One year later, and after much education, I am hoping to see a different result. Let's pray for that with this collect based upon the Collect for an Election:
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the many communities in the United States in the election of officials and representatives, and grant them discerning hearts and minds as they weigh ballot issues; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. --BCP, pg. 822
Susan Gage is a former public radio journalist, now licensed massage therapist, living in Tallahassee, FL. She is an out and proud lesbian activist and a cradle Episcopalian, a Eucharistic Minister, and in her second year in the Education for Ministry program at St. John's Episcopal Church.
She blogs at http://scg-wakeupcall.blogspot.com/.