In our travels across Ohio we were hosted by the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron. For over thirty years Unitarian Universalism has been working toward equality for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender persons. Homophobia is against our religion and against our sense of justice.
In these churches we heard the stories by and about the children. In Akron Beverly Senkowski was welcomed by the Unitarian Universalist community where she raised four children as the non-biological mom. Life for her revolved around their needs and wants and the children grew and prospered.
Unfortunately the relationship ended for the two moms after ten years – and the children became pawns as the biological mom ended all contact for Beverly. Beverly explained, “Many anti-gay folks say that they want to deny same sex marriage to protect the children. No one in this situation suffered more than the kids. No ones lives were changed more drastically. Remember no court intervened on their behalf. No law protected them. No system helped them to be heard. No court appointed guardian determined what was in their best interest. They were abandoned on all fronts.”
Beverly is fighting for equality and civil marriage in honor of the children – the ones of her heart and the one to nine million children living in the LGBT community. Civil marriage will grant to these families guarantees like child support, visitation rights, and custody privileges, as well as, honoring their homes as worthy. It’s hard enough to create healthy supportive families in our complex society without casting aside those being nurtured by same-gender couples.
In Columbus Ann Myers, founder of Speak Out, a group of straight allies working for gay rights, shared the story of her seven year-old daughter Meaghan who often helps at rallies by carrying signs and handing out literature. Meaghan is already an activist for marriage equality. When told there were some who believed that a man and a man or a woman and a woman should not be allowed to marry, Meaghan announced, “That’s stupid.”
Sometimes the truth comes out of the mouths of children.