The following reflection was a part of the Stations of the Cross walk that took place in Detroit last Friday. The Call to Action 20/30 of Michigan Facebook Page said of the event: “The Stations of the Cross in Detroit …takes you to different locations that relate to each of the stations. It reminds us that the Stations of the Cross is not just something that happened to Jesus a long time ago in a distant country, but it is also happening here in Detroit and everywhere, everyday.”
Meg Marshall wrote this reflection for the 9th Station, which took place in front of the Catholic Archdiocese.
Chant: Listen to the voices of the young children. They are calling out the message of the heart and soul. Reminding us what we used to know before the lies were told.
This year lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth will be bullied in their schools. In fact, they are two-times less likely to finish school or pursue college as a result. These youth are more likely to experience sexual violence and homelessness, and have higher rates of suicidality than their heterosexual peers. In Catholic schools, all youth will be taught a limited view of personhood under a blanket of homophobia. LGBTQ students will struggle to articulate their faith in a context that neglects their value. When will the Church begin to protect children?
Did you know that in the state of Michigan, you can be fired if your employer even thinks that you might be gay or lesbian? Unfortunately, the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act, only protects against workplace discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin. It does not extend those protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In 2014, Barb Webb was fired from her teaching job at a Bloomfield Hills Catholic school, seemingly because she had a “nontraditional” pregnancy with her partner Kristin. Barb, and other educators throughout the country have faced discrimination time and time again, from an institution that claims an ethic of social justice. When will the Church develop an ethic of inclusion?
On November 6th of 2014, the Sixth Circuit Court upheld Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriages, overturning Judge Friedman’s earlier decision. Currently, there are only 13 states in the United States that do not recognize same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church continues to support marriage discrimination through lobbying efforts and pulpit based messaging. LGBTQ Catholics struggle to find safe spaces in the church and places where their unions can be blessed and celebrated. When well the Church celebrate marriages of all shapes and sizes?
Meg Marsall is a New England native now living and working in Detroit. Meg works with college students as they seek to build a faith that does justice. If spare time exists, Meg gardens, hikes, and snuggles kitties.