Why We Marched
Rev. Harry Knox
Interim Executive Director
Women and men from all over Georgia gathered yesterday at the Georgia State Capitol for “Walk in My Shoes, Hear Our Voice”: a march for women’s health and reproductive freedom. My husband Mike and I were proud to march with other activists from around the state for several reasons.
1. For Mike, advocating for women’s legal empowerment has been a lifelong work. He was motivated to become a lawyer by his great-grandmother’s experience of gender-based discrimination in courtrooms in South Georgia. She fought against a male-dominated system to keep her family’s property intact – and lost. Mike has worked for decades to see that women, working folks, and LGBT people receive true justice.
2. I “went down to the demonstration”, as the old Simon and Garfunkel tune says, because my nieces and sisters and friends are under attack and I’m determined to stand with them as they have stood with me through many a struggle. The leadership of the Georgia General Assembly is seeking to pass legislation that will limit the health care options the women I love need desperately – and to curtail their freedom to make their own decisions about their bodies and their health. I’ve noticed many who say they are for “limited government” really mean “maximum government control” when it comes to women’s bodies. I trust the women of Georgia and would not presume to make health decisions for them. I will join them in the struggle to preserve freedoms their mothers and grandmothers fought for.
3. I went down to Atlanta from our home in rural Northeast Georgia because there needed to be a clerical collar in the crowd. I was heartbroken at how many times women thanked me especially for being present in my Christian pastor’s garb. They acted as if it were a surprise that a faith leader would be marching for women’s freedom and health. It was wonderful to see signs provided by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice that read “Pro-faith, Pro-family, Pro-choice!” It was a message welcomed by all in attendance – and it’s newsworthy, folks. I pray we clergy-types will be willing, as Jesus was, to make (good) news.
Integrity USA is the advocacy voice of LGBT Episcopalians and their allies. Make no mistake: the attack on women currently underway in this country reflects a larger mission on the part of some to enshrine straight, white, male dominance once again as the law and practice of the land. Integrity stands with women in this struggle for justice and freedom.