A Prayer for LGBT People in Indiana

As one who lived through a popular vote in Minnesota about whether my family is equal to others, is worthy of respect, and deserves protection under the law, I feel called to lift up a prayer for LGBT people in Indiana. I still remember how personal it felt when the legislature decided to have a referendum on marriage here, and it is because of that memory, that I offer this prayer.

Beneath the pandering, Behind the pundits,
Before the votes get counted in the next election,
Beside the ones who judge, or deliberate,
There you are.
You are the one on my mind, in my heart.
You, queer Hoosier,
You are the one for whom I offer this prayer.

You. You matter most right now. You.
You're not a spectator, not a viewer while a political football gets tossed down the field,
not a potential voter exhibiting trends, not someone able to boycott your own life.
Because underneath all the lies and obfuscation, all the rhetoric, all the abstract speculation, it's your life. It's your worth and dignity. It's your love and your identity being raked publicly. It's your soul being punted and kicked and thrown.

You are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer.
You are a human being, living your life.
There you are.

You're a busy parent, trying to make ends meet, with dollars and hours.
You're a young adult, just coming out, excited to explore this new terrain.
You're a middle school student, head down, trying to survive.
You're an activist, brave name in the paper, scared at nightfall.
You're quiet at work while others argue the pros and cons of this legislation.
You're praying for religious freedom of your own, freedom from religion that excludes.
You're wondering if you should retire somewhere else.
There you are.

You're grateful for those offering support, but you don't know what can change.
Sometimes you're afraid. Sometimes you're angry. Sometimes you're sad.
Sometimes you feel a toxic bitterness you can't stop, even as you reel from it.
You're tired.
The righteous bully's insult is an epicenter around which you waltz: Feeling hurt, refusing to feel hurt. Feeling alone, feeling accompanied. Feeling vulnerable, feeling tough.

This prayer is for you.
May you know you are a child of God, beautiful and beloved, just as you are.
May you know that your worth and dignity can never be voted away.
May you know your people, living, dead, not yet born, and hold them to you.
May you know that straight allies who hold you dear are aching with you.
May you feel the support of people you will never meet, of all orientations and genders.
May you refuse to be a witness in the trial against yourself and your people.
May you know that your love is the precious gift you have been given.
May you feel compassion for all the people, all around the world, who have been told they did not matter, and may that compassion sustain you.
May you live in love.

May you live in love.

God of love and justice, hold these queer Hoosiers close to you, each one precious and priceless. Whisper love songs in their ears. Replenish them when they are tired and give them strength to stand up proud and strong. Give them reason for hope and confidence that justice will come.