Part of why I always get a little sick this time of year is what happened 14 years ago. I'll never forget sitting in the little room I was sleeping in then in Manhattan, thinking about the boy who was dying in Laramie. After he died the next day (October 12, 1998), signs went up all over the West Village/Chelsea that said "Bring Your Anger." At the time I thought that message wrong, but in retrospect, I've rarely been angrier than I was when Matthew Shepard was beaten to death. That night there was also a peace march held around Union Square, which I missed, but instead I had my own peace march up 8th avenue, and the candle somehow stayed lit.
So much has happened since 1998, but in some senses, little has changed. The fight against Gay and Lesbian families in Minnesota with the marriage amendment is a classic case of how it is still acceptable to find any rationale necessary to try to defame, diminish, and even destroy us. But our humanity, and the integrity of our families, triumphs over the darkness contained in chants of "religious liberty" and "protect our children," because the One who created and unites us also gave us those parts of ourselves that are most human. And for me, like for Matthew, that part is gay.
No matter what some Christian voices say, God loves what God created, and nobody, of no denomination, of no ranking, of no nationality, of no level of wealth, of no language, political persuasion, education level, or any other factor can separate us from the love of God.