I started the day thinking about something said by a friend somewhere else on the Internet. She had expressed a certain amount of discomfort about Mormons for Marriage Equality (or similar groups) walking in the Pride Parades. It wasn't because she's anti-same-sex marriage (quite the opposite) but because it in a way refocused the spot light from one community and shifted it to another. Beyond that I thought about my own relationship to the church. For all intents and purposes I'm probably better labeled an ex-Mormon than a Mormon. So I walked a street lined with hundreds of thousands of people cheering (in some small part) for a group I no longer identify with. And yet, in some ways it was the perfect place for me to be, and for others close to me to be.
There's a certain bitter sweetness to the death of Prop 8. And talking about it feels to me like the same spotlight stealing that the marching in the parade invoked in my friend. While it's fantastic, and possibly the best possible outcome for California same-sex partners, I imagine there are more than a few people who marched in our group, and those so far detached now that they wouldn't dream of marching with the group, that have lost something that they once found important and powerful in their lives. I'll admit that the effect upon myself is less than it likely is on others, on life-long members with broken hearts over their church's actions during Prop 8. The repeal of Prop 8 won't change that. The relationship between person and church remains broke. There will be more than a few forgotten soldiers from this battle. All those cheering people, all that happiness, all that joy, won't remove the bits of dread Robyn feels when she goes to church, a church she dedicated a greater part of her life to. And she is but one amongst many.
One can of course argue that the recognition of the church's flaws is its own sort of gift for those who are now less active or inactive all together. That the choice is empowering. That they're now on a better course that may, who knows, lead somewhere better and greater in the future. I agree mostly with that, but even when a decision is the right one to make, that doesn't make it easy and without painful repercussions; (Warning: I started watching Breaking Bad recently, so my blog posts might frequently reference it now) like when Jesse Pinkman's parents kicked him out of their home(s) and lives. Preservation doesn't always feel good.
To my fellow strugglers and drifters, to my friends, to my wife, to my daughter--for our history with the issue will one day likely cause her confusion--my heart goes out to you, even during these glorious days, when God is proving that he truly is good. I hope you all end up happy, wherever your trail leads you, whether it be down a wide street lined with thousands of jubilant people, or sitting quietly alone by yourself wondering where and when everything that once seemed so easy and simple changed.