Monday, April 06, 2009

Marriage in Iowa, the White House on Unintended Pregnancy, and Religious Progressives -- Friday Was A Good Day

This past Friday was a very exciting day.

Iowa became the third state (or fourth if you include California) to approve marriage equality. And I couldn't help but think that if it can happen in Iowa, it surely can happen elsewhere.

I was honored to be included in the first White House conference call on reducing unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion. Yes, those are the exact words that the White House used -- nothing about "abortion reduction" as the frame. We were promised that we would all be involved in additional smaller briefings and have the opportunity for input.

And Huffington Post published my blog, "Don't Call Yourself Progressive If You Don't Believe in Sexual Justice." Read it here.

It set off a few fellow bloggers who accused me of extremism and throwing people out of the progressive coalition. But I won't let people paint me or the Religious Institute as extremist, because I know that the positions we take on sexual justice are shared by a majority of Americans, from the more than half who want abortion to remain safe and legal to the almost 90% who support sexuality education and family planning to the 89% who believe that lesbian and gay people should be protected against job discrimination. These are not positions on the far left, as some would claim, but mainstream positions that many people of faith (and people who claim no faith at all) support.

But of course, it's not just about numbers. My commitment to sexual justice is about people's lives -- women, teenagers, LGBT persons who should have the right to the information, education and services they need to make their own responsible and ethical sexual decisions.

I know there are many good people of faith who disagree with me and the Religious Institute on these issues -- and I am willing to work with them to seek common ground on issues where we might agree. I've taken part in those common ground discussions since 1991, and I will gladly come to the table with anyone who is willing to find areas where we can work together. Just ask.

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