Utah and the Vortex of Hate
While many in this country are shivering in the coldest of storms, a polar vortex bringing travel to a halt, we are driving back to Utah from a state where the sun still shines. I spent the last three weeks in California, the golden state where I was born, the one that in my heart will always be my home. What a trip, what a journey, and what a swirling of emotions, the last few weeks have been. With more than a hundred friends and family members, on January 3rd we exchanged our wedding vows and danced late into the night. Our joy was even deeper thinking that when we got back to Utah our marriage would also be recognized.
The smoggy hateful skies had parted there and the light of love was shining brightly. We felt the excitement from afar. We imagined all the weddings I would have done outside the courthouse, and seeing in person the tears of gladness falling down the cheeks of lovers old and young. But there would be time to celebrate, we thought. Time to officiate at more weddings. It seemed that justice had finally come.
Then, just as our car was almost packed, justice was so quickly snatched away. The vortex of hate blanketed Utah again.
When the court case on Utah’s Amendment 3 was first pending, and the state began to make its case, I wrote a poem called Rage
A few lines were:
“Shall I burn
Down your temples
And set fire to your lies?”
I feel some of that same rage today. I also feel disappointed that we missed the celebrations, and will return only to share the grief and the pain. I also know, as Unitarian minister Theodore Parker said, that the arc of the universe bends toward justice. I hate that the arc is such a long one. Parker worked to end slavery but racism still thrives more than a hundred years later. I also know that love, in the end, is so much stronger than hate. I know that faith can be greater than fear. I do know that the snow will eventually melt and the sun will shine again. In the meantime, we will just have to keep each other warm.