First, I must celebrate the history that was made this very day. Today, June 26, 2013 people across the nation celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling of Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry. The Supreme Court has tipped the scale in favor of marriage equality. Four and a half years ago, I was devastated by the passage of Proposition 8 that prohibited same-sex marriage. But today, I have hope that, as a society, we are moving towards a civilization of love. Catholic social teaching seeks to offer a path of healing and transformation as we commit ourselves to building a civilization of love. Although marriage equality is not typically included within Catholic social teaching, I advocate for its inclusion. In “A God of Life, A Civilization of Love,” author Daniel Groody writes, “At the core of social justice is respect for each person’s human dignity and an overall commitment to the common good.” Today’s Supreme Court ruling protected human dignity and is indeed a step towards the common good. I will celebrate this weekend at San Francisco’s PRIDE celebration, but I will be back in Oakland in September to celebrate Oakland’s PRIDE event. It was here in my home in Oakland I learned the good news. A day I’ll never forget.
A civilization of love commits itself to preserving the dignity of all its community members. A civilization of love addresses the problems that impede development, such as hunger, illiteracy, inadequate health care, poor sanitation, environmental contamination, corruption, political, and economic instability, and inadequate social infrastructure. I have found that the organization I work for, the General Assistance Advocacy Project, is dedicated to such a commitment. I love the work I am doing for the organization. Each day, I assist low-income and homeless individuals receive benefits such as General Assistance, CalFresh, and Social Security. As I reflect on the work I am doing at GAAP, I must say that I am grateful for the opportunity to work at an organization that actively commits itself to a civilization of love. On a daily basis, the work I do and the people I meet inspire love,advocacy, and a commitment to social justice.