Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Have Your Heard? A Few Steps Forward ...

Bad news always seems to be louder than good news. We become so accustomed to hearing how opposition groups have done something to stop equality that it's easy to miss the bits where equality actually moves forward.

The news is especially heartening when it occurs down here in the South, which is often characterized as being less progressive and inclusive.

Recently we've had two southern LGBT-positive news items that may not have gotten the lion's share of press but are certainly positive:

In Atlanta, a Lutheran church is reinstating a gay pastor and his partner to its clergy roster.

Rev. Bradley Schmeling and the Rev. Darin Easler have been approved for reinstatement to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Schmeling had previously served as pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Atlanta but was removed from the church’s clergy roster in 2007 for being in a same-gender relationship with Easler.

Last month the church revised ministry policy documents to make it possible for “eligible Lutherans in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships” to serve as clergy.

Now that's some real good news!

Meanwhile, down in Florida, Leon County (which includes state capital Tallahassee) voted 5-2 to broaden its human rights ordinance to support gay folks.

The changes provided stronger protections from discrimination for LGBT folks in four areas: general provisions, employment discrimination, equal access to places of public accommodations, and fair housing.

Finally, though it's not in the South (of the United States, at least!), also be sure to check out the latest "Sports Illustrated," which has a profile of recently-out Welsh rugby player - called the "The World's Bravest Athlete" on the magazine cover - in the article "Gareth Thomas ... The Only Openly Gay Male Athlete."

America doesn't have an out and proud gay male athlete yet, but his time, whoever he is, is coming.

In the meantime, let's take pride in what we have. Baby steps forward are still steps.

No comments:

Post a Comment