Heads of the historic Metropolitan Community Churches and The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries celebrated today and claimed a victory for a fair society in the re-election of Barack Obama, the election of Tammy Baldwin — the first openly lesbian Senator — along with the first ever wins on marriage equality ballot measures at the state level.

“Justice Prevails! For the poor, for women, for students, for people of color, for Same Gender Loving people, for our elderly and for those who love peace and fairness this is a great day! May God's power and protection keep President Obama and his family,” said Bishop Yvette Flunder, head of a nationwide network of primarily African American churches that receive members regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“The re-election of President Barack Obama means that fairness is still a core American value. America understands that Obama stands for every American rather than the few at the top of the economic heap,” said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of the historic Metropolitan Community Churches with ministries in 40 countries. “We celebrate that ObamaCare, Social Security, Medicare, and education will continue to serve the people. Today, fairness wins!

“Fair-minded Americans took stock of comments about rape, 47 percent ‘entitled victims,’ tax cuts for the rich, vouchers for Medicare and we sent a message. Republicans, show some respect for the people who are the backbone of this country!” Dr. Wilson said.

“Black Americans stood up and supported President Obama despite massive efforts to block our votes and get us to stay home. But African Americans know that Fannie Lou Hamer was beaten to within an inch of her life, just for registering to vote. We do not forget! Our votes came through a civil war and civil rights marches. No one is gonna turn us around!” Flunder said.

“Voters of all races and classes supported President Obama knowing that he eliminated “Don’t Ask — Don’t Tell” so gay and lesbian soldiers can now serve openly.” Dr. Wilson said. “Obama signed the hate crimes law, he advocated to eliminate persecution internationally, he spoke out against bullying, and he gave his personal support to marriage equality. The next four years is another opportunity to show respect for all Americans, regardless of our race, economic standing, whom we love or how we express our gender.”

“The election of Tammy Baldwin as the first openly lesbian Senator and the most support ever for marriage equality in Maryland, Minnesota, Maine and Washington makes it clear that the tide is turning for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans and our families,” Flunder said. “We have more work to do! We will work in our communities and with national leaders to overturn DOMA and to protect human dignity around the world. Even while the United States strides toward freedom, countries throughout the world are faced with a rising tide of Christian fundamentalist influences from the United States to create waves of discrimination and violence toward sexual minorities.”

“LGBT people know what it is to be targeted. We will never settle for just gaining and protecting our own rights,” Dr. Wilson said. “Everyone’s rights depend on protecting those who are most vulnerable. The words of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ring true today, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ The people won again with the election of President Barack Obama but the work continues. We stand with LGBT people and suffering people in the United States and around the world. We work for a day when respect is the rule and discrimination is no more!”

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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