Friday, February 18, 2005
Bill Sinkford talks with Boston's 'Bay Windows.'
Boston's gay and lesbian newspaper, Bay Windows, published an interview with UUA President Bill Sinkford last week in which he talks about the Association's advocacy of same-sex marriage rights in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the country.
The national headquarters of the UUA sits right next to the State House, and under Sinkford the denomination has made use of its prime slab of real estate to influence the debate over same-sex marriage. Last February as legislators began two months of debate on the amendment, the UUA draped a 16 x 20 foot banner along the side of their building that read, "Civil Marriage is a Civil Right-Unitarian Universalist Association." The banner was inescapable to legislators and lobbyists filing in and out of the State House each day. Sinkford said that given the denomination's stance in favor of same-sex marriage, the decision was a no-brainer.
"We had a choice. We could either be quiet or we could be articulate about our values. We decided to be articulate. The decision about the banners was made in about 30 seconds, it didn't take long, and we just felt that because of our position here adjacent to the State House we had to take advantage of that and try to make sure that our state legislators, when they were in session and looking out the window, had to see our message," said Sinkford.
The story is pegged to the award Sinkford received February 10 on behalf of the UUA from the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry. Sinkford also talks about Hillary and Julie Goodridge's wedding at the UUA's headquarters last May:
"Hilary and Julie are friends and it was a real privilege to officiate at their wedding. And it's one of those places where the personal and the political intersect," said Sinkford. "For them it was a joyous occasion, a celebration of their long relationship, and for us and for the world it was a political statement that we need to be able to affirm the loving relationships of couples and their commitment regardless of their gender."
While many people of faith may see same-sex marriage as a difficult issue, Sinkford said the marriages of couples like the Goodridges will change minds in the long run.
"The earth has not stopped revolving around its axis, and what we have is a situation where these thousands of couples are enjoying the benefits of civil marriage in the Commonwealth, and the other couples and families in the Commonwealth are continuing to live their lives. I think that's a powerful testimony," argued Sinkford. "This is not dangerous, this is not going to destroy the institution of marriage. In point of fact marriage equality is an affirmation of that institution. Now I think that's a powerful argument for others."
("Talking with William Sinkford: UUA Head Vows Continued Public Support of Marriage Equality," Ethan Jacobs, Bay Windows 2.10.05)
Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 18 February 2005 at 5:49 PM