Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Equality for all!!! Well...for some...

Today was a HUGE win in the Supreme Court for gay rights.
There is no denying that.

Today an extremely discriminatory law was struck down and gay marriage must now be required by the federal government as equal to heterosexual marriage.
Seventeen years when DOMA was enacted I am sure that many gay and lesbian Americans thought this day would never come.
I personally remember sitting in my parents car at only 8 years old listening to the radio and hearing them discuss DOMA and wondering why people thought this law was wrong and how anyone would define marriage besides between a man and a woman, but at the same time I wondered why it really mattered, why did we need a law to define this?
Clearly I know now that this law was enacted with hateful intention to make it very clear that a gay or lesbian union was second class to a male/female union.
Today I am so thankful to know that I no longer live in a country with second class marriages. I live in a country where any marriage has the same rights under the federal law.

There is still a LOT of work to be done. 

This photo shows the states in which gay marriage is now legal and will be federally recognized. 
Only 30% of Americans now live in states with Marriage Equality. 
What about the other 70%?? 
Note: there are other states that allow civil unions and domestic partnerships however those are still not recognized by the federal government. 

Sure, the other 70% of us could still go to one of these states and get our marriage license and receive SOME of the federal benefits. But is that really good enough? 
Not in my mind. 
In my mind that still makes my relationship second class because of who I love. That is not equality. 

When the day comes, I want to be able to walk down the isle with Lacey, say our vows, and sign our marriage license, in whichever state we happen to be living in at the time, and I want that marriage to be recognized by the federal government. 
I dont want to have to fill out new paperwork for every state that I move to. 
I dont want to have to worry when it comes time to have children if we have the right paperwork in place so that we have full rights at the hospital. 

We still have a long way to go for full marriage equality in the United States. 
Major strides have been made over the last few years and I am extremely thankful to live in this time of great change, but don't rest now, there is still a lot to be done. 

Today, we celebrate. 
Tomorrow, its back to work.