Love Grows Here

Every once in a while you have to take a moment to stop and see what an amazing time it is we live in. So much so right is happening right now all around us.

As part of a growing nationwide movement toward marriage equality the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin Foundation and the national ACLU’s LGBT project have challenged our state’s restrictions on marriage in Federal Court. Four of the couples involved graciously agreed to share the stories of their lives, their cooking and their love with our Amy Silvers. People who give of themselves to move human rights forward are always seen as the bright spots of their time in history books. The reality is that few are treated that way during their lives. These couples are all true heroes and worthy of our thanks. Lots of love here. Lots of tasty food as well.

And with what it meant to us and how it has been such a huge part in what Penzeys has become over the years, we’ve also included our 2005 story of Dennis Kohler, Pat Brown, daughter Kati and their triplets Karissa, Derek and Isabella, with a new photo of the family. As we make our attempts to show kindness across all boundaries, what we’ve found at the heart of all inequality issues is that those on the privileged side of the divide have always been raised to believe that their privilege makes sense because they are the good people, the moral ones, the heroes.

By giving a glimpse of the incredible moral decency of Pat and Dennis we challenged lifetimes of belief. We lost customers. We understood that would happen. But it’s what happened since that has us so joyful. Yes, changing demographics have played a part in the success marriage equality is having today, but an equal part of the success has come from those who over the last decade have changed their views. In this world no one is responsible for their own programming. Many of those behind the damaging ways of the past really did have kind hearts; they just had some bad information. What they have worked so hard to overcome in themselves is a huge part of what we are celebrating today. We are very proud of all who have made possible what is happening across this country.

Seeing how far we have come in just the last ten years has me excited for what the next ten years will hold. The momentum for marriage equality is already carrying us forward to a greater understanding of how privilege works. What this means for issues of race and gender can only be good. After all of our history of "us" and "them"—and believing we can make the world a better place by making life worse for those we see as different—there is the very real possibility that this summer, with this issue, we may be seeing the beginning of the end to this chapter in human history. Today I am so very-very hopeful.

There is so much to celebrate here. What we are witnessing right now might not be simply something that happens once in a lifetime. What we are seeing really might be a once-in-forever moment. We are so lucky to be the ones living here on Earth in this time, to witness this incredible event. REJOICE!!!

So many deserve so much credit for this day. One group that did so much to take it the final distance is the ACLU. What they do costs money. Please keep them in your thoughts.

Bill Penzey