Unfortunately, I have a lot of little things to attend to in the next forty-eight hours, so will not be able to address the two items I consider in the post with the attention they deserve. In the past twenty-four hours, via Yahoo! and Facebook, I read about private institutions addressing two concerns of the gay community, the first, a religious institution, the second a private business.
“At the Episcopal General Convention,” reports the Associated Prsss
. . . which is divided into two voting bodies, about 80% of the House of Deputies voted to authorize a provisional rite for same-sex unions for the next three years. A day earlier, theHouse of Bishops approved the rites 111-41 with three abstentions during the church meeting in Indianapolis.
Supporters of the same-sex blessings insisted it was not a marriage ceremony despite any similarities. Called “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant,” the ceremony includes prayers and an exchange of vows and rings. Same-sex couples must complete counseling before having their unions or civil marriages blessed by the church.
Interesting that the church chose to bless same-sex unions without calling such blessings a marriage ceremony. It may not be ideal for some, but clearly represents a step in the right direction. (More on this anon; I hope.)
From a friend on Facebook, I learn of a gay couple reporting
. . . being verbally harassed and physically threatened at a Lowe’s home improvement store in Riverside, Calif. have been granted temporary restraining orders against the employees who allegedly attacked them. Jeremy Smythe, 29, and Daniel Soto, 35, have requested video evidence from Lowe’s of the incident and are considering a civil case against the store.
I think these men are wrong to consider a civil case against Lowe’s. This is a private company; they should seek a private solution, asking the company to investigate the behavior and discipline/discharge the employees if said investigation reveals that they did indeed harass the clients.
If the company fails to act (on evidence of harassment), this gay couple (and others) should take their business elsewhere, say Home Depot. That enterprise, as you may recall, refused to back down when the American Family Association “called for a boycott of the home improvement retailer because it sponsored several gay Pride events this year and offers domestic partner benefits to its employees.“