Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Fight for Gay Rights Doesn't End with Prop 8 and DOMA

Well, I think almost every blogger in the US is saying something about marriage equality today.  So, I suppose I should jump on the bandwagon too.  I truly hope that the Supreme Court overturns Prop 8 and DOMA.  I lived in LA during the 2008 election and I remember how disheartened I felt about the passing of Prop 8 and how bittersweet it made President Obama's victory feel. I think it will be a huge step forward for LGBT Americans and for our visibility to the straight community.  I know it will have a normalizing effect that will eventually help with LGBT acceptance across the board.  I know and celebrate all of this.  I find the outpouring of support for the LGBT community that I’m seeing all over the web to be truly inspiring.  

But, I do have a concern.  I fear that marriage equality, while a crucial right to the gay community and as a member of that community something that I want wholeheartedly, is becoming the only issue people think of when they think about gay rights.  I live in the south, and here, there are still basic discriminations against LGBT people that are completely legal.  I could be fired from my job for being a lesbian and have no legal recourse.  Now, as I live in Dallas, I can’t be banned from renting an apartment because I am a lesbian, but that is the case in many southern cities/states.  The only way a same sex partner gets health benefits is because the company decides to do so, there is no law protecting it. Furthermore, the Texas Republican party (the party that runs all of Texas except for Austin (local), Dallas, and Houston) says that I am unfit to adopt or be a foster parent. Also, there will be no marriage equality in Texas until there is a federal law guaranteeing it.  

So, while the steps the court may take in the coming days are landmark, historic things that can help all LGBT Americans.  The fight will be far from over.  These are monumental steps, but for a vast number of LGBT Americans, there is still a lot that needs to change.

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