SACRED, BUT NOT LEGAL
By Rev. Susan Manker-Seale, Spring, 2010
To the People of the State of Arizona (and Beyond):
My daughter is getting married
In a ceremony sacred, but not legal,
And instead of the minister, I’ll be the proud mother
Holding the hand of my husband of thirty years
As we welcome a new daughter, not in-law,
They will have to be brave,
Joining the ranks of the oppressed,
Where they’ve already been
In so many ways,
But their love is strong, and beautiful,
And perhaps, in time,
the people of our state will finally see that,
And grant them rights as parents and partners,
In spite of the spite that’s still spewed from the silver-tongued.
Oh! You pastors who blaspheme by preaching bigotry!
Who take advantage of people’s desire for a privileged place!
Must there always be a scapegoat?
Can’t you see the history of oppression,
The slow uncovering of our eyes
and unstopping of our ears?
People, don’t sit like sheep in the pews, unquestioning!
It is shameful when the oppressed become the oppressors,
And you have all been there in one way or another,
One end or the other.
This morning I woke up, and realized one part,
At least, that I have played, and now,
After twenty-two years of performing weddings
Here in our beloved state,
I refuse to be the hand of one more injustice,
And will no longer sign marriage licenses,
Arizona is turning one hundred,
And those years have left a trail of emancipation,
People turning over and rising up,
Demanding to be seen and respected
Through race, gender, culture, ability.
But still, the fight goes on for those whose love
Is not confined to social norms
and ancient, misguided religious precepts.
There is a lot more love in the Bible, in holy texts,
Than many have been led to believe.
Let’s all open our eyes and ears,
But especially, let us open our hearts,
For love truly is the most important thing!
And no matter that some will still preach to the contrary,
I know when I’m in the presence of a sacred love.
My two daughters’ marriage will be blessed!
And, believe me, as we take one more step out of bigotry,
One day, it will be legal!
– By Rev. Susan Manker-Seale
Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Northwest Tucson
• If you like this poem or want to submit a poem for this section, please leave a comment.