The Supreme Court’s ruling today not only granted marriage to each and every citizen of this country, but also a affirmed what supporters have been saying for the last 37 years — we are on the right side of history.
Two, five, or 10 years from now, this issue will seem as antiquated as hanging witches and denying women the right to vote, both of which passed after great debate and in a similar manner as rights for homosexuals. The citizens of this country plant their feet firmly in the sand and continue to buy Lady Gaga tickets and watch Top Design. But their feet are slowly pulling out and their ears are listening. The next chore is making the states uphold the (soon-to-come) laws, which has proven to be a difficult issue, as more states independently voted same-sex marriage into law over the last few years.
While potentially a political move, the decision read by Justice Kennedy comes mere days before many of our Gay Pride parades and celebrations. Whether this was intentional or not, look for these festivals to proudly celebrate their country and community at last.
A wedding band is no longer just a symbol of uniting two people in love. These metallic continuous loops, meant to represent the past and future meeting as one, whether from a Cracker Jack box or Jared, are no longer indicative only of vows taken. Designer, found, borrowed or otherwise, they now belong to every one of us. And more so, they have the power to change how we socialize. Men will now wear wedding bands for the man they love, and women for women. The “normal” assumption and eventual question, “How long have you and your wife been married?” when viewing a man’s band will evolve and change, no longer a chapter in Ms. Manners but now a blanket assumption.
But the work is not nearly done. As early as 2001, reports have surfaced of The Salvation Army turning away, or in some cases kicking out, minors who identify as LGBT from their shelters.
Recently, the Christian organization released a rebuttal to these claims. Their defense sparingly named shelters that not only housed minors despite their sexual orientation, but also built those children up into grand adults, some continuing careers within the charity.
While these accounts are true and it is a step in the right direction, The Salvation Army has had a long documented disapproval of same-sex relationships and exercises their religious right as a charity to dismiss employees, refuse event proposals, and yes, ask minors to leave based on LGBT status. Too little, too late.
To be citizens, the gay population requires the basic rights of every other American. No exceptions. The truth is that with tolerance comes a better community. A loving family turning away a child due to whom they love is a tragic irresponsibility. We raise our children to believe as we do, but they will make their own choices and yes, develop their own opinions and personalities.
While Marriage Equality is of monumental significance, there is a shocking amount of negativity toward the community including claims of a pushed “agenda.”
Targeting adults such as the recent Philadelphia hate crime is appalling, but casting out a child for political or religious reasons is unforgivable.
Emotional scars of abandonment run deeper than hurtful words.
As they say, it starts at home. It starts early. Teach tolerance, not judgement. Teach love, not politics. In the coming weeks, your uncle or brother or aunt or best friend may find the freedom they have been looking for and come out to you. Support them. They are you. We are all the same. We all wear rings now.