Today, amid the morning rush between meetings, worship, and the rest, phones started buzzing with texts and calls about the decision of the Supreme Court to recognize marriage equality as the law of the land. And as the day went on, news of a rally by Utah Pride in one of the local parks started filtering through the crowd. Integrity, the LGBT advocacy group of The Episcopal Church, were passing around buttons and making signs. The rally was to start at 6pm, during the afternoon legislative session.
Cynthia Black and Nina Nicholson, among a few others from our diocese, were at the rally when it started. As soon as the legislative session ended, I made my way back to my hotel room to drop off my stuff and begin what I thought would be a solo trip up to the rally to join them. But as I walked from the Salt Palace Convention center, I overheard several people talking about heading up to the rally. When I left the hotel room, I was one of a large group of people racing up the street, beginning the mile journey in the nearly 100 degree heat to the rally to celebrate this momentous decision.
The thing is, these deputies, or at least most of them, took this time to walk that journey knowing it was the only free time they had between the legislative session that ended at 6:30pm and the legislative hearings that began at 7:30pm and which would likely take them up to about 9pm. None of that seemed to matter more than to be united with others in this moment. And, as we walked quickly through the streets, we started to introduce ourselves to one another. It is likely that all of us felt as I did, a longing to be at home with our friends to celebrate this turning point in our lives and the lives of others, yet here we were joining with one another, and with the people of Utah. It moved me in unexpected ways this momentary bond of strangers in a strange city. My heart was smiling.
I don't know if the people of Utah that were in the park really took in just how many of us "out-of-towners" had joined them, but they could clearly see our signs and our collars, and they knew that they were being supported by The Episcopal Church. And so I was indeed home today and surrounded by friends. I didn't know them before, but I will remember them, and this day, always.
Photos following by Nina Nicholson.