Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Virginia attorney general's opinion not justice

I do not want the week to slip by without expressing my strong dismay and deep disappointment at the legal opinion by Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, Virginia's new attorney general, claiming that schools and universities have overstepped their bounds by enacting non-discrimination protections for gays and lesbians. To read the attorney general's opinion, click HERE.

I am not in a position to critique his legal analysis. He may well be correct that Virginia law does not allow the education system to extend legal protections to gay people. If so, that is a critique on Virginia and its political leaders. You do not have to favor gay marriage to understand that people should have the right to earn a living and live as who God created them to be. That is the underpinning of our justice system, and here in the land of Thomas Jefferson, that ought to be the principle that guides our lawmakers and attorney general.

Sadly, that is not the case today.

It is disturbing that Cuccinelli's opinion is among his first official acts as attorney general. Cuccinelli was sworn into office January 16, and either there was little else demanding his time, or stripping away legal protections for gay people was a high priority for him. In either case, I find that shameful, and his action is a throw-back to the Anita Bryant political pandering and bigotry of the 1970s.

Let me also state this clearly: The attorney general's opinion is a direct threat to my congregation. The lifeblood and mission of St. Paul's is the University of Virginia, where many of my members are students, faculty or staff, and many of them are gay. Cuccinelli's narrow reading of the law turns on a green light to discriminate against them. And that, it must be said by this Christian, is not justice, and it has nothing to do with the teachings of Jesus, or the declaration of the prophet Micah 6:8 to "do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."

I will have more to say on this in another post on another day.

4 comments:

Mary Carolyn said...

Well done, Fr. Jim! People so often confuse what they think God said with what He really said, and it leaves them standing on the side of hate, abuse, and prejudice. LOVE is the answer to all those hard questions. We can't legislate morality, one way or the other. Each of us is unique, and each relationship with God is unique. It is up to each of us to protect the disenfranchised and those who are being discriminated against.

Mary Carolyn

Anonymous said...

Jim, I'm applauding! Thank you!

Christie Savage

Ellie said...

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." – Elie Wiesel.
Thank you, Jim, for speaking out.

Ellie said...

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." – Elie Wiesel.
Thank you, Jim, for speaking out.