I was in my car. Driving back home after a visit to friends when I turned on the news in my car. It was almost 10 a.m. and I waited…anticipating the worst. I was apprehensive, yet, had feigned for years that this sort of fight (for marriage rights that is…) wasn’t one that was going to impact me anyway. I was a little angry actually–there were so many other fights that needed fighting: trans* rights and protections, employment non-discrimination, the scourge of bullying and anti-LGBTQ discrimination in schools–and here we were, pouring millions into a fight that we were probably going to lose.
Then, it happened. And we all know that it did–unless you’re living in a place where you don’t watch the news or read newspapers or talk to people, et cetera. History was made and our place was solidified as equal citizens under the law. Love did, in fact, win. I was jubilant! Pumping my fist and hitting the steering wheel as I listened to Thomas Roberts of MSNBC reporting live–listening to my brethren cheering, singing the National Anthem and “We Shall Overcome,” and the scores of people who were going to finally be able to solidify partnerships that they had been fighting for. Suddenly, a future of a family with a white picket fence and my husband waiting to figure out what to cook for dinner was an actual possibility (if I could find the man first, but I digress- ha!).
Now it’s time to fight for our other rights. When I talk with people, mostly students, but quite a few adults, they are unaware that in many places in our wonderful country (my home state included), that one can be married at 10 a.m. and then in fact get fired from their job when they place their spouse’s picture on their desk. There doesn’t even need to be a different reason–a boss can simply say, “Oh, wait, you’re queer, hmm…we don’t want your kind around here, so pack on up and head out.” While yes, we are equal citizens under the law when it comes to marriage equality, we don’t yet have other protections that are just as vital.
Celebrate–because we’ve earned it. But also remember that there’s much more work to be done and we will need the same tenacity to achieve these rights as we displayed to fight for marriage equality. We have momentum on our side–let’s not lose it now.