Sometimes I wonder if we'll miss the moment when the LGBT revolution really does arrive. Many, myself included, have always expected that moment to come with cheers and back slapping as equal rights legislation finally becomes law. Others may be looking for the election of the first gay president or the installation of the first lesbian member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
I have a funny feeling, though, that I just saw the revolution dawn, and it didn't happen in Washington, D.C. The revolution arrived this past Saturday in Lawrence, Kan., inside the home of the senior pastor of the oldest church in the state.
I was in Linda Luckey and the Rev. Peter Luckey's living room, and I was surrounded by a group of largely heterosexual couples, ranging in age from 40 to their late 70s. We were all staring raptly at a DVD playing on a small TV.
I don't think there was a dry eye in the room as we watched two women who had been together for 25 years pledge (or perhaps I should say re-pledge) their lives, their love and their souls to each other.
The DVD showed the wedding ceremony of Judith Galas and Cindy West, who had recently married in Des Moines, Iowa. The party was the reception their good friends, the Luckeys, held so that all of their Kansas friends could celebrate their long-delayed and finally official marriage.
The celebration was the second for their marriage. About 40 people, most of them straight, had accompanied the couple to Iowa. Peter performed the ceremony there. Cindy and Judith are longtime members of Peter's church, Plymouth Congregational.
For a time, Judith was the Director of Christian Education for the 1,150-member church. These days Judith teaches English at Bishop Seabury Academy, an Episcopal school. By the way, the headmaster of her school announced her wedding to students. The only responses Judith received were cards of congratulation left on her desk.
On Saturday, most people stood because there weren't enough chairs. Even though the ceremony was long, no one fidgeted or made jokes or talked.
Tearing up, wiping at cheeks with tissues, beaming, these straight people - our alleged enemies - had been captured by the love shown so clearly on the screen. How many of them were remembering their own marriages, or wishing their relationships were as strong as Cindy and Judith's? How many of them were considering their heartbreak if they were forbidden by law to marry?
This is not a fairy tale.
Neither Judith, Cindy nor the rest of us LGBT folk are equal under the law, at least not yet. Our families and our children face crippling discrimination - all of which is fully legal.
Judith and Cindy also can't marry in Kansas, and the state doesn't even recognize the union their pastor and another state just formalized. Meanwhile, efforts are already underway to take away the right of same-sex couples to marry in Iowa.
This incident may even misleading because it happened in the most liberal city in Kansas in a congregation of the progressive United Church of Christ. Linda Luckey, by the way, serves on the local chapter board of the state's LGBT rights organization, the Kansas Equality Coalition.
And yet, I can't help being hopeful.
Something important is happening in this country, and it's occurring away from the glare of TV lights. Heterosexuals are beginning to be able to see us for who we are. The people standing with me in that living room certainly did. They saw the highest form of love on that screen, and they recognized it for what it was -- something sacred.
PHOTO: Judith Galas and Cindy West celebrate
a basket as the Bishop Seabury boy's team takes a come-from-behind victory over Veritas Christian School. Veritas, by the way, is the local fundamentalist school.