For what it’s worth, I wore a rainbow ribbon to church yesterday in support of same-sex marriage.
I realize that I don’t live in California where the letter from the First Presidency was to be read, but I wanted to do something. I’m probably motivated a bit by the my regret for having supported the amendment to my state’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage. For whatever reason, I couldn’t sit quietly as the LDS church works to force its view of marriage on all citizens of this nation.
I didn’t expect any overtly negative responses. Except on the internet, Mormons are generally too polite for that. If anybody asked, I had a few practiced answers:
- I’m wearing the ribbon in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots which jump started the movement to recognize the rights of people of all sexual orientations.
- I’m want to promote recognition of the human right to same-sex marriages and equal protection under the laws of the United States.
- I’m celebrating the diversity that makes us as human beings so beautiful.
A few people cast furtive glances in the direction of my ribbon. I assume most people had no clue why I was wearing it. I might consider wearing it again if in the future the LDS church goes beyond just sending a letter to California congregations.
One moment toward the end of church beautifully captured what the rainbow ribbon represented to me. I was sitting in the foyer reading The Dharma Bums. An elderly man shuffled into the foyer to attend the Spanish-speaking ward that meets after my family’s ward. After a minute or two, he approached me and asked—through gestures and broken English—if I would help him put on his tie. I took the tie from his tremoring hand, tied it loosely on myself while he fumbled to button his collar, took the tie off my own head, slipped it down over his head and around his neck, turned his collar down, and straightened the tie. He thanked me and sat down.
It was a simple gesture but to me it illustrated people coming together despite differences to help meet our needs and make the world a more humane place.