Our Black Lives Banner fell apart in the last wind storm. Karen Morgan and Suzy Belmont who spearheaded the efforts to replace the banner, have received feedback about a new all inclusive banner that will have eight lines of dialog all in different colors and all the same size in print.
The banner change does not require a congregational vote, however we want to inform the congregation of our plan. We have received your comments and questions too. It is important that our values within are reflected in what we publish outside the church AND that an external banner is a reflection of our congregation. Here are the first two lines of the banner that is coming soon:
This congregation strives to be radically inclusive (Color = Gray)
Love is Love (Color = Red)
I am going to stop at the second line of the banner because this is what this article is about, and where we received questions about what does “Love is Love” mean? As UUs we question everything so I thought I would look into where this term came from. There is no “born on” date in which “Love is Love” came from.
As early as 1985 there was a song entitled Love is Love by the Culture Club whose frontman (Boy George) caught the attention of the world with his androgynous dress style. Is it possible that the LGBTQ community borrowed the term Love is Love from Boy George?
Fast forward to June 26, 2015 after the High Court legalized same-sex marriage, President Obama said (paraphrased here) that “folks who were willing to endure bullying makes us realize that love is love.” The slow steady effort of marriage equality is rewarded with justice.
Lin-Manuel Miranda best known for creating and starring in the Broadway musical Hamilton, wrote a sonnet while accepting the Tony Award on June 12, 2016 in response to the Orlando, FL shooting massacre that left 50 people dead; “…that nothing here is promised, not one day. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside.”
The comic book industry came together after the Pulse nightclub shooting in FL and published (originally published December 28, 2016) a beautifully written graphic novel of mostly non-fiction comics called Love is Love. It honored the lives of those lost in the shooting and raised funds for the survivors of the victims.
Today “Love is Love” is part of the resistance and it can be seen on t-shirts and banners.
I was curious about what “Love is Love” means to the UUCB congregants so I interviewed UUCB’ers. No names are mentioned but take a read:
- I know what I feel in my heart and no one has the right to tell me I do not love that person. My feelings are my own. Logic, sensibility, race, gender, those are not involved in any statement I should make about who I love. Taking it one step further, if I love someone (who is an adult, of course) I should have the right to marry that person, no questions asked.
- If I state my love for someone, no one can question it. No one can say, that person is the same sex as you, so you can’t love them.
- Gay love is not different than any other love. It has resisted the hate. Love is love was born out of the LGBTQ experence but it encompances everything.
- Love doesn’t refer to just loving one gender.
- It doesn’t matter who you love.
- Love is love is unconditional and without preconditions.
- I (this individual) find it irritating that there is a need to explain what Love is Love means.
- If you live with love, act it. Love is as what love does.
- Love is love means marriage equality but we’ve broadened it.
- Love is love is pure and inclusive of all people. It includes the many ways of expressing love to people, animals, and the Earth.
- I’m not trying to be cynical but Love is Love doesn’t say a lot to me. When are we getting the new banner?
- It sounds like a slogan from UUA.
- Love is Love is no boundaries for gender or sexual orientation, for we all deserve love.
- (From a child’s perspective) Love is Love means different things. It means to me, being with my family watching movies and hugging each other.
- Honor and celebrate all expressions of love! (As a gay person), Love is Love is coded language and says that this is a safe space.
The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter who you are, LOVE is the answer. Love is Love frames the rest of the banner. As a UU one needs to unpack what “Love is Love” for oneself. We cannot give a universal answer about what “Love is Love” means for everyone. I have confidence on your own, you will figure it out.
Caitlin Moore and Suzy Belmont
We have heard your comments and now have revised the proposed banner for the front of the church as seen below.
|THIS CONGREGATION STRIVES TO BE RADICALLY INCLUSIVE gray|
|Love is Love red|
|No Human Being is Illegal indigo|
|Black Lives Matter blue|
|Climate Change is Real green|
|Women’s Rights are Human Rights yellow|
|All Genders are Whole and Good orange|
|This Land is Indigenous Land violet|
Please note: The rows will all be the same height. The letters will be white. The size will be 3 feet by 6 feet or larger. There will be at least six grommets.
Kelly will preach on the topic, “Love is Love” on January 20. Congregation members will have a chance to see the draft banner on a piece of paper in the Sky Room on Dec. 13, 20 and 27. You are asked to comment in person, by email to Suzy or Karen, or call Suzy or Karen. No congregational vote is required, but we care what you think!
Suzy Belmont: firstname.lastname@example.org 339 788-1445
Karen Morgan: email@example.com 720-938-2304