Today we have cause to celebrate. Today two pillars of oppression have been severely weakened by a sadly divided Supreme Court. The worst provisions of DOMA have been struck down, and the Court has decided that supporters of Proposition 8 in California could not take up its case in lieu of the state doing so. We can take to the streets and cry our joy to the skies, and be thankful that we now live in a kinder, saner world, at least from a legal standpoint.
Then, when we are done with our festivities, we can take deep breath, look around us, and remember, that our work is nowhere near done. Marriage equality is a piece of the puzzle, to be sure, but it is not the only one, or even the most important one. In too many states it is still legal to deny someone a job because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In too many states it is legal to deny someone housing. Even as our nation as a whole becomes more accepting, in too many communities young, LGBt men and women fear being themselves because the consequences in school and at home are too high.
Every step we take toward true acceptance in our society is a positive one but we must not forget that we have not crossed a finish line, but merely completed one leg in a seemingly endless relay. There is still so much work to do, even within our community. We have to get our own house in order, making sure all queer folk, and not just white, cis-men, are served (which is not to say today’s victory was theirs alone.) We need to stop throwing trans* equality under the bus to make “friendlier” bills that will be more “acceptable” to conservatives. We have to remember that our queer brothers and sisters of color face special challenges, unique to the experiences of either intersection of oppression they are affected by. We must remember our lesbian sisters are raped, often with impunity, and face it with greater challenges than our straight sisters (who, of course face an overwhelming burden when this odious aspect of male privilege rears its ugly head.)
Today is a good day. It is an over the moon and around the sun amazing day. It is also a day that marks not an ending, but a beginning. We can use our wins today to fuel us to greater victories in the future, and while we are not over the rainbow yet, I am confident we can and will do so.
- Gay rights supporters erupt in cheers over ruling (onlineathens.com)
- Supreme Court rules DOMA unconsitutional (minbcnews.com)
- Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA, Prop 8 Ruling Vacated & Remanded (richardbaris.wordpress.com)
- Transgender child wins discrimination case in Colorado (blogs.seattletimes.com)