This past weekend the city of San Diego celebrated Gay Pride Day, supported by tax-funded civil agencies announcing their support. It seems like a good time to think again about one of the central symbols adopted by the Gay Rights movement, the rainbow.
This last Friday is already designated as one of the most historic victories in our nation’s history as a divided Supreme Court on Friday ruled that same-sex couples can now marry nationwide. This landmark opinion, as it’s being described, now opens the door for all gay and lesbian couples to have legally recognized marriages in all fifty states. As soon as the announcement was made, gay and lesbian couples swarmed the streets with victory cries. In short order, President Obama unequivocally spoke of the decision as a victory for America. Within just a few hours, America itself seemed to be enveloped with the symbol of gay pride: the rainbow.
Within the last twenty four hours, the rainbow has appeared everywhere. I’ve seen pictures of the White House painted with the colors of a rainbow. Silicon Valley companies are implementing all sorts of creative ways to use the rainbow as a sign of victory for the decision. Facebook has declared a celebration allowing members to add a rainbow filter to their profile picture to make clear those who support the decision. Twitter has added a rainbow heart icon with the hash tag: Love wins. From Google to Starbucks to At&T, the rainbow has become the new flag for America, from sea to shining sea, America is now draped with the rainbow.
The rainbow was popularized as an official symbol of the gay community in the early 1970s. The accepted designation for each color of the rainbow is believed to have originated when a San Francisco artist, Gilbert Baker designed the gay pride flag as having six stripes, each one having its own meaning: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for art, and violet for the human spirit.
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CHRISTOPHER GORDON was ordained to the Ministry of the Word in October 2004. Rev. Gordon is a native of Central California, and prior to answering God’s call into the ministry, he was a high school Bible teacher in the central Californian valley. Rev. Gordon, having a love for Reformed theology, pursued further theological studies and received his Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Seminary in Escondido, CA, where he studied under such scholars as Drs. Michael Horton, W. Robert Godfrey, R.S. Clark, S.M. Baugh, David VanDrunen and D.G. Hart. He pastored at the Lynden United Reformed Church from 2004 to July 2012, and is presently Preaching Pastor at the Escondido United Reformed Church.