June 26, 2015 shall go down in gay history as the biggest win/win ever. Whoa. Rewind and let’s think about what the SCOTUS decision actually signifies. Yes, same sex marriage is now the law of the land that is if the states that are highly against it don’t find the dozens of ways to block it until Ruth Bader Ginsberg comes to town with a big stick and a wagging finger.
And if it does actually become 100% legal everywhere, what will we do about establishing laws that actually change individual prejudices and animosities? When the Supreme Court abolished laws against interracial marriage in 1967, it did not fix the thinking of people. “In 1967, about 72% were still opposed to interracial marriage and 48% felt that marrying a person of another race should be prosecuted as a criminal act. According to a Pew Research survey in 1991, those adults opposed to interracial marriage finally become a minority, nationally.”
In a matter of months the presidential campaign will start heating up. We’ve heard the SCOTUS verdict opinions of a number of candidates. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) slammed the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on same-sex marriage, suggesting Christians will have no choice but to resort to civil disobedience in order to follow their faith.
“This case wasn’t so much about a matter of marriage equality, it was marriage redefinition,” Huckabee said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” Sunday. “And I think people have to say, ‘If you’re going to have a new celebration that we’re not going to discriminate [against], may I ask, are we going to now discriminate against people of conscience, people of faith who may disagree with this ruling? Huckabee said Christian county clerks should be excused from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
So… now does the LGBTQ community take up the gauntlet for a mandate that all US county clerks be of a non-Christian faith? I personally think that is going a bit too far, but, if you are hired to issue marriage licenses and you refuse, isn’t that insubordination and you can be fired? Where is an HR person when we need one?
The Tampa Bay news wrote that as governor, Jeb Bush repeatedly said that he opposed gay marriage, though he was reluctant at times to amend the state Constitution, since gay marriage was already banned in state law. Since leaving office, Bush said that he supports “traditional marriage,” though he has used a softer tone when asked about it. He wants states to make the decision, but believes that states should decide “no”.
Now lest we think that it is just the Republicans who are fighting this decision, remember that Hillary Clinton opposed same-sex marriage as a candidate for the Senate, while in office as a senator, and while running for president. She expressed her support for civil unions starting in 2000 and for the rights’ of states to set their own laws in favor of same-sex marriage in 2006.
As polls showed that a majority of Americans supported same-sex marriage, Clinton’s views changed, too. She announced her support for same-sex marriage in March 2013.
Let’s not forget that as much as we have come a very long way in an historically short time, there is still so much more to do before we can be “just another citizen of the planet” and not thought of as “some of my best friends are gay”. So let’s continue to celebrate this monumental decision. Let’s embrace love in all of its wondrousness. Just remember that there is more to do and support GLAAD, NCLR, HRC and the organizations that were there for the long fight and will be there for the other issues still affecting the LGBTQ community.