Over at the RAC Blog, Stan Cowan shares a reflection for the fourth night:
Tonight, when my partner and I light the fourth candle on our menorah, I’ll be thinking about 4 widely disparate countries where the light of equality just got a little brighter. In Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and even Ireland, courts and legislatures are putting gay and lesbian equality at the top of their list. The Canadian Supreme court ruled the other day that Ottawa has the exclusive jurisdiction to decide who has the right to get married in the country, and that religious groups are not obligated to perform marriages. In Israel, the attorney general granted legal recognition to same-sex couples in financial and other business matters. New Zealand, same sex couples just gained similar legal rights to married people (though the legislation does not change the Marriage Act which still only applies to heterosexual couples). And in Ireland, the Prime Minister Bertie Ahearn stated that same-sex couples deserved better rights, and Justice Minister McDowell said that Ireland should pursue civil partnerships for unwed couples, both gay and straight, but should not institute a full process of gay marriage. After a stunning defeat for gays and lesbians in 11 states in last November’s election, I call what’s happening in those 4 countries real progress. When I came out in 1991, none of these things were even possible. In fact, if equality seemed like some sort of enchanting dream, gay marriage was a true work of science fiction. But as Dr. King so aptly stated, the arc of history is towards freedom and equality. So tonight, when my partner is saying the blessings over our Shabbat and Chanukah candles, I’ll be thinking about how much brighter the light seems tonight. The arc of history is proving itself to be true. For tonight, in four widely disparate countries, the light of equality for gays and lesbians is shining a little brighter. That is an amazing Chanukah miracle.
Chanukah sameach, and Shabbat Shalom.


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