Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Former evangelical Baptist minister holds his gay wedding-day photo high above the opposition at the Albany captial same-sex marrioage demonstration

By Steve Parelli
June 21, 2011
Bronx, NY

Rev. Steve Parelli holding
wedding-day photo

The euphoric feelings that caused me to breakout in dance! (Like David before the ark)

Outside the state Senate chambers in Albany, I danced down the hallways between two rows of the chanting, singing religious right who were opposing marriage equality. It was liberating.

I was standing at one end of the hall with other marriage equality supporters. This particular group from the religious right were lining both sides of the hall, separate from where we were standing.

I decided to walk between the rows of the religious objectors with my head held high -- with my wedding-day poster board photo held above. The picture said it all: I am a very grateful gay man for the wonderful partner, I believe, God has granted me.

I felt so victorious, so vindicated, so lucky to be me - a gay man - with a loving partner, that I began to dance as I walked.

At times I looked heavenward toward the ceilings of the hall in happy self-affirmation, as if God were smiling.

"This is my father's world" they sang. And I sang it, too. It was liberating to raise my voice in chorus with theirs, albeit our singing had to carry two-different implied meanings.

Rev. Steve Parelli displaying his wedding-day photo
 before the religious right opposition.  State capital,
Albany, NY.  June 20, 2011
For one Christian (myself) to stand before one's opposition - other Christians (them) - and say "No, this is what I am before God as I understand God for myself,"  is the historic Reformation cry. It is the spirit of Protestantism: To know and believe in God according to the dictates of one's own conscience.

I was protesting in that spirit before today's inheritors of the ways of the Reformers.

And, like then, to protest openly, before your religious brother, against the generally accepted body of belief was for me, in these halls of the state capital, very liberating.

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