Wednesday, September 12, 2007

La Shana Tova with some news thrown in

Tonight begins the Muslim celebration of Ramadan and the Jewish celebration of Rosh Hashana, the New Year.

September always feels like the beginning of the New Year to me, much more than the dark days of January. As the mom of school age children and as a minister of a church that begins its year in September, it is now that I gear up, make plans, create new resolutions, and one more time, begin anew.

It feels like a new year in this country, with true possibilities for sexual justice.

Let me review for you a few of the things that have happened since September lst:

*The California Senate passed a marriage equality bill. First passed by the California House, it awaits the Governor's signature by October 14th. (Court rulings are expected soon in Iowa, Maryland, and Connecticut.)

*The Gag Rule was overturned in the Senate by a margin of 53-41 votes. According to CHANGE, "this restrictive policy bars U.S. family planning aid, including contraceptives, to any foreign organization that uses its own funds or funds from other donors to provide information, make referrals, or counsel women on abortion; advocate for the liberalization of abortion policies; or perform legal abortion services. "

*The Senate passed a provision that grants the President authority to waive the restriction under PEPFAR (the international AIDS prevention program) that 1/3 of all U.S. global HIV prevention funding be used for abstinence-until-marriage programs.

*The Senate passed an increase in funding for international family planning and reproductive health programs in fiscal year 2008.

*Hearings were held on ENDA, the full inclusion anti-GLBT workplace discrimination bill, and a floor vote in the Senate may take place before the end of the month.

These decisions all happened as a result of last November's elections. Your votes mattered; they will continue to matter.

This New Year feels alive with possibilities.

May we be blessed with a year of progress and justice. May it be a year of health, happiness, and wisdom for you and your loved ones. May it be a year of peace.

1 comment:

Pensieve said...

September always feels like the beginning of the New Year to me, much more than the dark days of January.

As a Pagan, we celebrate our New Year on Samhain, commonly known as Halloween, but it's never felt like the beginning of a year for me. Rather, early spring when the trees bud seems like the turning of the year. After all, death isn't new (the death of plant life), birth is (when plant life awaken)