Just a few hours ago, I was standing on the steps of the Supreme Court as the ruling on marriage equality was announced. The weight of the moment was almost too much to bear. The surge of exuberant joy and peace that flowed through my body caught me by surprise. As we heard the announcers words echo across the marble platform, I became keenly aware that this was far more than a change in our laws. There was something much bigger occurring in this moment.
As a follower of Jesus, I realized that this ruling for equality is an undeniable result of the Spirit of God moving in our midst, calling his church, our nation, and our world forward towards redemption, reconciliation, and restoration. Throughout the whole of human history, we have seen the Spirit inching humanity closer and closer towards a vision of renewed world where justice, equality, and beauty reign. Jesus called this new reality the Kingdom of God.
As the subtle winds of God's Spirit continues to blow at our backs, causing us to progress closer to a truly just and equal world, I believe we are going to continue to see moments like this one, where oppressed minorities will at last partake in the sweet experience of liberation.
Though many of my evangelical brothers and sisters may disagree, as I have worked among the LGBTQ community and evangelical leaders over the past year, I have become absolutely convinced that all of the change we see occurring is not a result of Christians bowing the knee to cultural trends, but Christians awakening to what God is saying to our world. And God is saying that all people, gay, straight, bisexual, lesbian, queer, transgender, questioning, asexual- were all created in the eternal, expansive, and creative image of God and should be embraced, welcomed, and dignified as such. The ruling we've seen today is a major movement of God's Spirit, but we still have a long way to go.
In the evangelical church, we must continue to work to help teach our people how to rightly divide the word of truth, instructing them on how to correctly interpret the Biblical message based on context and a theology of progress. We need to continue to call the thousands of evangelical leaders who have already changed their minds on questions of LGBTQ inclusion to step forward, no matter what the cost, because it is our duty as followers of Jesus Christ to sacrifice our self interest and comfort for the good of the oppressed.
On the civil level, as American's, it's also clear that we also still have a lot of work to do before we can say that our country is truly equal for all LGBTQ individuals. According to GLSEN, in 28 states, LGBTQ people can still be fired from their job based on their sexual orientation alone. In 8 states, LGBTQ inclusive curriculums are prohibited in schools. In 32 states, schools have little to no protection for LGBTQ students against bullying. So while this ruling for equality is needed and important, there is still a lot of work to be done in our nation to ensure that equality and justice is a reality for LGBTQ individuals.
And as a member of the LGBTQ community, today is an unbelievably joyous occasion. For far too long, LGBTQ people have been marginalized and oppressed by society, government, and religious institutions in this country. Though the LGBTQ movement has been growing in influence and prominence over the last decade, we still have been a people who were denied basic rights as citizens of this country, which has been a fundamental assault on our dignity as humans.
Today's ruling marks a momentous shift in the consciousness of our nation, where, from the highest levels of power in our country, LGBTQ people and our marriages are seen as worthy of equal respect and status as everyone else. This day has taken far too long, but I am incredibly grateful that it has finally arrived.
God is on the move.