These past two weeks have been very exciting. We had the joy of seeing marriage equality pass in Washington state and of seeing the governor sign the bill into law. Then it passed in New Jersey, a place that just last year struggled, unsuccessfully, to pass it. Then, finally (and this is closest to my heart, as a someone serving in a Maryland church), marriage equality passed in Maryland's House of Delegates, the chamber that was uncertain about it until the vote occurred. It was in this chamber that, just one year ago, the votes were not there, and they were forced to table the measure. Now the bill will go to the state Senate, where it is expected to pass, and then on to the governor, who has promised to sign it. There is still work to do to see that this happens as nothing is assured until the bill is signed. On top of that, both Maryland and Washington will likely have this bill on the November ballot. Regardless of the work ahead, we must celebrate the hard work of so many for the cause of equality, those working to see this world we live in become the vision of the world that Jesus gave to us -- a world free of inequity and oppression. Of course, marriage equality is not the end of our justice causes, and long after this struggle is over there will continue to be others. . . but today, we can celebrate.
Of course, what we really need to celebrate, even more than the events of the past two weeks, is what they seem to be pointing to -- that change IS coming, that the world is coming around to seeing the inherent worth of all God's LGBTQ children. In 2005, when I was graduating college, I wondered if I would ever see marriage equality in my lifetime, and now it is happening. I think there are many people in The United Methodist Church feeling this same way, wondering if it will happen in their lifetime. For those who are wondering this, take these past two weeks as a sign of the coming change. In the last ten years we have seen most of the major Protestant denominations change. It can happen for us in the UMC as well; we just have to get to work. In less than three months, the UMC will descend upon Tampa, Florida for General Conference. This is our opportunity for change. We have less than three months to talk to our delegations and share our stories, experiences, love of God, and our desire to see our church be what Christ has called it to be. We can change the world. Change is happening all around us. Let's get to work and see that this change also comes to The United Methodist Church this year.