Original date of this post: March 9, 2013
Context: It was during the time of oral arguments for United States v Windsor, which lead to a June 26, 2013 ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) restriction of marriage/spouse to heterosexual marriages was unconstitutional.
“Stations of the Cross: The Struggle for LGBT Equality” is a new set of 14 paintings that link the crucifixion of Jesus with the history of LGBT people.
“In the sacrifices of martyrs of the LGBT movement, we can come to a new understanding of the cross, and of what it means to be part of the body of Christ,” explains Tennessee artist Mary Button in her official artist statement.
Button painted the LGBT Stations series for Believe Out Loud, an online network empowering Christians to work for LGBT equality. They invite churches and faith groups to download and use the images for free.
[Note about sharing the series on the Jesus in Love Blog. The overview can be found at the bottom of the page of this post.] The original paintings will be displayed in Washington DC during Holy Week, which coincides with Supreme Court oral arguments on same-sex marriage.
Button matches each traditional Station of the Cross with a milestone from the past 100 years of LGBT history, including Nazi persecution of homosexuals, the Stonewall Rebellion, the assassination of gay politician Harvey Milk, the AIDS pandemic, ex-gay conversion therapy, the murder of transgender Rita Hester, the ban on same-sex marriage, and LGBT teen suicides.
The Stations of the Cross are a set of artistic images traditionally used for meditation on the Passion of Christ. They tell the story of his crucifixion from his sentencing until his body is laid in the tomb.
After Easter Button plans to paint Station 15 showing the resurrection. “I’m hopeful that the Supreme Court will rule DOMA unconstitutional and I’ll be able to create a Resurrection piece about the ruling!” she told the Jesus in Love Blog.
Update: “Station 15: The Resurrection Of Christ” was completed soon after the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling for marriage equality.