[EDITOR'S NOTE] The following is a guest post by Sean Kosofsky. Sean is the Director of Policy for Triangle Foundation, Michigan's leading civil rights organization for GLBT people. He is one of the most visible, recognizable and accomplished GLBT activists in Michigan, and is known nationally for his work. Sean is also on the board of the Equality Federation, the largest GLBT lobbying and activist entity in the nation.
Isaiah said these words in a time of immense turmoil between Middle Eastern nations, when rumors of an upcoming spiritual renaissance were widespread. According to Isaiah, the birth of the child would be the eve of that awakening.
It is indeed rare for me to quote the Bible, but the religio-historical parallels are just too perfect; almost like Haley's Comet or the cyclical re-birth of the cicadas. Mary Cheney and her partner Heather Poe have had a baby boy, Samuel. (Note that "Mary and Poe" rhymes with the Biblical "Mary and Joe" and that Samuel is a Biblical name). Could the 2006 November elections and the current conflict in the Middle East be some kind of political and historical markers letting us know that another spiritual renaissance, one of openness and acceptance, is near? Will today's youth be the champions who finally tear down the legal barriers to GLBT equality in our lifetime, thereby moving us out of the dark ages of sexual shame?
The parallels are just too similar. Samuel Cheney must be the Pride Messiah. It sure sounds Biblical and prophetic; a little boy, born into a world hostile to his family, on the cusp of a month known for a great battle between an oppressed minority and an oppressive government. (If the Stonewall Inn had a manger, these coincidences are enough to have the Heaven's Gate cult packing their bags).
Putting religious comparisons aside, the birth of Samuel Cheney is an important moment for our movement. Cheney and her clan are now reaping the benefits of years of GLBT activism even though she worked to elect the President with the most homophobic record in American history. She sold out our movement and millions of families just like hers, yet she is cradled by a fabric of laws and court decisions that are starting to support her family. Many of us actually don't think George W. Bush or Dick Cheney are homophobic at all, despite their pandering to the worst elements in American society. Privately the Bush/Cheney White House is probably very supportive of Mary Cheney's family, which is why this moment in time is so interesting.