this morning while i was at work, i checked twitter to see that SCOTUS (surpreme court of the united states) had made marriage legal for everyone in all 50 states.
since then, i have been all over social media, reading dissents, watching buzzfeed articles pop up like this one and numerous onion articles that are letting us know that we a long ways to go, and just generally being excited.
i've also been making fun of scalia, but i've been doing that for years now, so what's new?
but what does the SCOTUS ruling mean for YOU, an average american?
first off, it means that you get to spend today partying in all of your rainbow coloured clothing.
scream! run around! wave flags! kiss your loved ones! weep with happiness!
(these are all things i wanted to do at work but that's frowned upon.)
here are some other things that legalising marriage means to the people of the united states.
FOR GAY PEOPLE
it means that they can get married!
and they certainly have been! twitter just alerted me that a couple in texas that's been together for almost sixty years just got married. hooray!
besides being able to marry, gay people are now awarded the full benefits of marriage that aren't necessarily granted in a civil union or just by being in a monogamous relationship.
some of these things include:
1. financial stability
2. hospital visitation rights
3. joint health care
4. estate planning and access
the last one is huge. it was brought to light when the famous astronaut sally ride died a year or so ago and her partner was not able to have access to her estate even though it was laid down in her will.
so when we talk about wanting to marry, it's not just standing at an altar and saying "i do" to the person that you love and want to spend the rest of your life with. it's being afforded everything that comes with marriage financially, and this is crucial.
FOR STRAIGHT PEOPLE
it means that gay people can get married. it can impact your life in one way.
1. you'll have a lot more wedding invitations from your gay friends.
other than that, it's not going to affect your life, and if you think it will in some negative way, boy do i have news for you.
couples get married every single damn day and you have no idea and you don't care. now more couples are going to get married every single damn day and you still have no idea.
it does not affect your life negatively.
your religious freedom is not impinged because believe it or not, even if gay people can now get married, you can still practice your religion! you can be free to do that still! you can still be free to change religions! you can be free to do all kinds of religious things! you're just not free to shove your religious beliefs down people's throats and make them adhere to it, which isn't called freedom of religion, it's called bigotry.
if you look at what religious freedom constitutes under the law, marriage equality does not affect it. at all.
so what's the takeaway from all of this?
obviously, this is amazing. this is monumental. i can't even describe how absolutely incredible this is. everything is in a happy uproar. i'm so happy, and for once, i'm proud to be an american. i am proud of my country and the decision that we've made toward equality.
the key word is toward. we are not an equal country, and we will not be a for long time.
in terms of LGBTQIA rights, this is just the first step. now that we've taken that step, we cannot stop running. we cannot stop fighting. we cannot simply sit back and believe that everything is over.
now we have other issues to focus on. LGBTQIA homelessness. LGBTQIA people are three times more likely to commit suicide than straight people and this is for a number of reasons, the most common being bullying and unacceptance.
in 30 states, it is legal to kill a trans person. think about that. it is legal to murder someone for being tans.
in my home state, although marriage has been legal for over a year, you can be fired for getting married.
indiana is the not the only state without sexual orientation job protection. 28 other states can fire you for being gay.
i spend a lot of time on tumblr and even when marriage equality was only in about five states, there was large sentiment that marriage is not the be-all-end-all, and it's certainly not the most prevalent issue.
women fought for decades for the right to vote, and we finally got it. it was monumental. are the struggles of american women over? absolutely not. we are still fighting huge battles to be treated equally.
black people fought for centuries for equality in this country. they are still fighting for equality. it is far from over.
the LGBTQIA community is no exception. we have made a monumental achievement, but we are not done.
there is so much to do.
so saddle up, grab your equality flag, and ride that gay-ass unicorn into the sunset and help make america even more equal than it just became today.
(in looking for this next picture, i googled gay unicorn. DO NOT DO THAT. DO NOT.)