Gay Marriage Vs. Gay Rights: Why The War For Equality Isn't Over Yet
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States determined gay marriage was constitutional and, thereby, legal in all 50 states.
While this ruling marked a victory in the battle for gay rights, the war is by no means over. It will not be over until presses stop writing about it.
Let me explain…
When two straight people decide to get married, there is no blowback (except, perhaps, from their families). They have their choice of whichever ceremony venue they want, religious or secular, as long as it's available on their date of choice.
Pastry chefs view them as a high-value client — so do florists, caterers and dress makers. They plan their wedding with the typical amount of stress and road-blocks, but the national news does not write about whether or not the union should take place.
Essays and think pieces aren't written about the ramifications of their decision and a million identical decisions.
Unless you're very important or very famous, your heterosexual wedding isn't news.
But, gay weddings across the nation are.
Before same-sex marriage was deemed constitutional nationwide, every step forward in gay rights was a front-page story and an Internet sensation. I would like to say most of it is celebratory, but a good deal of it is also outrage.
A piece published on CNN has enumerated the reactions of several right-wing politicians to this news.
Ted Cruz stated,
“The court doubled down with a 5-4 opinion that undermines not just the definition of marriage, but the very foundations of our representative system of government.”
Mike Huckabee said the ruling was one of the “most blatant, disturbing, disgusting examples of judicial activism in the history of these United States.”
Carly Fiorina said marriage “is the union of a man and a woman, and from that union comes life, and life is a gift from God,” and overtly stated same-sex couples should be denied the right to marry, implying the decision should not have been left to the courts, but to the Christian God.
Does that sound like equality? Does that sound like a victory for gay rights?
According to a piece in Time published on June 28, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has said the state will not issue same-sex marriage licenses until specifically ordered by the local federal court.
A 25-day holding period has been implemented.
In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton passed down word to the counties that same-sex marriage licenses should not be given out until he gives word. Some liberal counties have begun to do so on their own, but others are holding back.
In Alabama, some probate judges have completely stopped issuing licenses.
In Mississippi, Judiciary Chairman Andy Gipson also suggested not issuing licenses at all.
These are only four states, but they represent millions of citizens and hundreds of thousands of gay couples. Despite the fact that the highest court in the nation has decided same-sex marriage is uniformly legal, individual states have made it their business to interfere and disagree.
What does this say for gay rights?
Of course, there has been an abundant celebration. The White House painted itself in rainbow colors in support. Everyone's Facebook and Twitter feeds have been colored with avatars washed over in rainbow stripes.
The press has decorated the articles of the decision with jubilant photos: elderly couples who were among the first to marry, perhaps believing they'd pass away before being able to do so; pride marches taking place across the nation, filled with gay, straight, queer and bisexual people; crowds flooded the Stonewall Inn, an NYC LGBT landmark, to take part in the country-wide party.
However, whatever the reaction of the news affiliates and their sources, news means novelty. Novelty sets certain people apart from others. How does that constitute equality?
If straight couples can date, marry, have children and live their lives without the attention of the press, true equality cannot be reached until same-sex couples can do the same.
When same-sex couples are treated with the same disregard as opposite-sex couples, we can finally say the war is over, that gay rights are finally equal to those allotted to straight people.
When this stops being news and starts being normal, then, and only then, can we say we've reached true equality.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Elite Daily.
Subscribe to Elite Daily's official newsletter, The Edge, for more stories you don't want to miss.