"How do geese know when to fly to the sun? Who tells them the seasons? How do we, humans, know when it is time to move on? As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us certainly when it is time to go forth into the unknown?"
About two weeks ago I saw the first Great American White Pelicans land on the lake where we live in West Texas. As the Sandhill Cranes departed for cooler places, the pelicans arrived. They stop off here in our shallow waters to rest and replenish. Our marine resources are limited, and somehow the birds know when they have to release their hold on an area and move on to make room for the next group; indeed, they seem to know that their very lives depend on this systematic migration from one place to a new place.
I am ready for our Congress and our clergy and our courts to grasp this basic principle of life. The American people have "moved on" into the unknown of what it will be like for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to be equal under the law. We are willing to share our limited resources with people who identify as gender and sexual minorities. We are smart enough to see that the world will not end, that our society will not crash and burn and that same-sex marriage and adoption do not threaten the institutions of marriage and family in America.
In fact, in those places where equal marriage has passed, the only thing that has changed is the level of tension: Now there is a lot less. People can relax and let people just be who they are. The same has been true of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." Military readiness, troop morale and order have not diminished as predicted by the ultra-conservatives. In fact, soldiers who can tell the truth make better soldiers.
We shouldn't have to drag our Congress, our clergy and our courts with us when we are ready to move on to a new way.
I live in the third most conservative city in America, and even here, in the dead center of the Bible Belt, more than 69 percent of Texans surveyed now think that gay people should have equal rights in terms of their relationships.
I read in the paper this morning that the Supreme Court may have a decision on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) by July 2013. My prayer is that they decide based on the basic principles of American democracy, that they remember what the world was like for women and people of color and Japanese citizens when our Congress, our clergy and our courts took too long to move on to justice for all. It is time for migration to a new place and a new way.