- by Rev. Gil Caldwell, on his 80th birthday -
Andy used prose/poetry to respond to the
marriage ceremony of Joe Openshaw and Bobby Prince.
performed by Bishop Melvin Talbert.
Andy's use of the word "familiar"
caused me to realize that the marriage of
Joe and Bobby by Bishop Talbert reminded
me of a "familiar" picture painted by Norman Rockwell.
Rockwell painted the picture of 6 year old,
Ruby Bridges, a black girl, as she was
accompanied by U.S. Marshals to an all-white
public school in New Orleans in 1960.
On October 26, 2013 as Bishop Melvin Talbert
performed the marriage ceremony of
Joe and Bobby amidst the disagreements,
and dissent of many United Methodists, clergy
and lay, he as a United Methodist Bishop was
doing for Joe and Bobby what the U.S. Marshals
did for Ruby Bridges; affirming her right to attend
a once white only public school, and protecting
her against those who might harm her.
Melvin Talbert, a Bishop in and of The
United Methodist Church, in Birmingham, Alabama,
demonstrated for all to see, that marriage should
no longer be only for "one man and one woman",
but for "one man and one man," as well.
Were that Norman Rockwell were alive to paint that picture.
. . .
The Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell is a retired United Methodist Minister who lives in Asbury Park, N.J. He was active in the Massachusetts unit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and participated in the civil-rights movement throughout the nation. In 2000, he, with others, organized the RMN Extension ministry United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church (UMOC), an organization committed to the full inclusion of LGBT people in every aspect of church and society. His recent book, Something Within: Works by Rev. Gilbert H. Caldwell is available from Church Within A Church.