Sunday, June 28, 2015

Love has won: Your guide to same-sex marriage

I'm sure everyone has heard the big news about how the Supreme Court has established the Constitutional right of same-sex couples to marry and have this union recognized nationwide. Yes us gays have finally succeeded in "shoving gay marriage down society's throat" and spurting their sticky concepts of equality and liberty all over it's face. Obviously there is only one adequate response to the gays and their incessant need to be treated like equal Americans and have their love legally recognized as much as any Kardashian brand synergistic PR stunt:


I'm sorry. Let me try for an expression far more refined and appropriate for the situation:

It's about fucking time!

While we celebrate this achievement in human rights and do our hard-fought and much-deserved victory dance in front of those who thought that a portion of people could be treated as second-class  citizens, it's important to consider a few things by looking at the past, present and future of the gay marriage fight.

(Past). First of all, here's a quick summary/timeline of the gay liberation movement in the US to see what we had to struggle against to get to this point.

Let's be clear: this is not something that was just " granted " to gay people out of the blue. Don't let the fact that the turn-around on gay marriage has been gradual fool you that this happened apropos of nothing. (Let us remember that if was only roughly 12 years ago to that that our nation decriminalized what consenting adults did in their own bedrooms. And only about 7 years ago that "liberal" California passed the discriminatory, unconstitutional Proposition 8. A proposition that the majority of Californians would vote against now, incidentally.) If there is a public shift of opinion on this issue, it's because we refused to remain invisible and silence our voices.  We stood firm for our rights and refuse to back down. Gay people had a lot to struggle against and we fought back. Activism and challenging discriminatory practices does work, don't let "PC" accusations tell you otherwise. Yes it may do so more gradual than many would like, but it's all the more reason to start pushing back against oppression now.

(Present). Here's a very good thorough analysis of the why the Supreme Court made the decision it did.

Again it's important to note that that same-sex marriage was not simply "given" to us by the Supreme Court as a "present", but a a recognition of a right that (via the 14th amendment) should have never been denied in the first place. This was about ending legally sanctioned discrimination against gay relationships for purely arbitrary and irrational reasons (no, "eww gross! I think the gays are icky" is not a sound legal justification.) This is just a reminder that clear-headed people should NOT pander to or enable bigots, because their rhetorical inconsistencies will not withstand a challenge.

(Future). And of course as the repeal of Jim Crow laws has demonstrated, this victory this means that gay people will never face discrimination or repression of their rights ever again! (Insert an Eyeroll of Disbelief so strong I think it's actually affecting the tides.) We've already gotten pushback on this issue from Texas and Louisiana. (Because when you're a lawmaker, "laws" are optional now?) And expect to see more "religious freedom" bullshit flung around by primates who think the god of their choice gave them a legal "right" to impede everyone else's. Not to mentioned that buried under the celebratory nature of the gay marriage ruling is the fact that many gay people in many states are still vulnerable to abuse and discriminatory practices with few means of legal or societal resources. There's still work to do. It's not "over" despite what the naysayers might whine about (hint: you can speed up the process by NOT denying people their god damn rights.)  So yes, supporters of equal rights should celebrate, but not be tempted to settle into complacency because this should be only one of many victories.

But still,


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