A Future Hope

Today an Indiana Senate committee voted to put to a statewide vote a constitutional amendment that eliminates the chance for John and I to protect our relationship the way married couples may. A reporter for the Indianapolis Star said that a group of people in the chambers began singing We Shall Overcome as the vote was taken. The police on hand escorted the protestors out.

I refuse to post a link to the Star, but here’s a quote from the article’s first commentor:

Come confront the overwhelming majority of the people of this state who want you GONE…Why should a church have to marry you if its against their beliefs? because you think they are “mean”??? Screw you..Go ruin another state…

You know, as our church’s wedding coordinator (irony on parade, no?) I’ve learned that no church in the U.S. is under any obligation to marry anyone–even straight people. A pastor can refuse to do it based on your religious views, skin color, the sound of your voice, whatever. So it is obvious that even if we had equal protections, this would not change. The rights would be civil only.

But the commentor is right. The majority of people in Indiana would prefer we just shut up and/or leave (this should sound familiar to a lot of people who have already won hard-fought battles for equality).

Ironically, our pastor stopped by tonight to talk with John and I about ways he might communicate about hope in his sermon on Sunday. He wanted us to think with him about ways people recognize hope. I admitted that I might not be the best person to talk with about this at the moment because I was feeling kind of sad.

I asked him what he thought hope was. He said that he thought of it in terms of the opposite of hopelessness, a grasp on the reality that joy, good and right will come.

I told him that I wasn’t able to go to the committee hearing today, but when I read that observers sang We Shall Overcome in the face of certain defeat, I finally understood the power of that song. It isn’t about now. It is about future and certain hope. And the right thing will happen for us because this is America. But it will take a long fight, because this is America.

So I guess I do have hope. This doesn’t mean John and I and a lot of other families won’t move to a place where the majority of people treat us as equals, but the right thing will happen, someday even here. In the meantime, some lucky state or country can look forward to receiving a bunch of passionate, talented, and intelligent new citizens. Too bad it won’t be Indiana.

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7 Comments on “A Future Hope”

  1. Katy Says:

    Troy, this makes me very sad. I wonder how those people who say such things treat their own families and friends that don’t think just like they do and fit the mold of what they think everyone should be in?
    I am very thankful for you and John, your life together, as Pastor Mike said, we must always have hope, so glad he stopped by tonight, a good man.

  2. Troy Says:

    Mom, funny you should ask, here is what the author of the bill’s EX-wife had to say about how he treats his family:

    “…The former wife of Republican State Senate candidate Brandt Hershman said Monday that his pro-life positions and endorsement by Indiana Right to Life do not conform with his personal beliefs. Tracy Johnson Hershman said when she became pregnant in early 1997, Hershman asked to have an abortion. On May 30, 1997, she claims he drove her to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Merrillville where he paid for her to abort their child. Hershman asked her for a divorce a week later, she said…”

    From Advance Indiana.

  3. Mike Mather Says:

    Troy,
    Thanks for the conversation last night. This morning I’ve been listening to the Derek Trucks band song “I wish I knew (how it felt to be free)” — do you know it? It’s not got the same ring to it that “we shall overcome” does — but it sings of good “hope,” yearning — whatever you want to call it. We haven’t talked about this much — but your comment about the song, reminds me that maybe art, music, poetry are the responses to make — an example of hope was your exhibition of “We Do, Too.” Better than any word can express.

  4. Duane Says:

    I too read the article in the IndyStar and all the comments that had been posted by that time (yes, all one hundred and ninety eight of them.) What really made me sad was more than just the lack of civility, it was the pure unvarnished hatred — from both sides — that hindered any attempt at meaningful discourse. I struggle with what my/our response as a family should be to events like this and I don’t have a tidy answer. But I do know and believe that my bearing witness to all that is good by my life and actions will probably do far more to change peoples minds than those folks trading insults on the chat page. I know that it has already happened and will continue if I am strong enough to be the authentic person that God created me to be wherever I am. Today I met a really wonderful person who lives in my community and was attending the Abundance seminar at Broadway and I was again presented with an opportunity to reach out to someone. I am optimistic that we will meet and talk again. In spite of the struggles that wage within me, it is these connections that continue to give me hope.


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