To quote Abed from Community, I often think that we live in “the darkest timeline.” Racism is turned into an academic discussion in order to avoid real change and soul-searching. Dead children are held up as reasons why we should issue everyone a gun. People are called leeches for wanting health care and birth control. Hundreds of girls can be sold into sexual slavery, and we’ll ignore it to argue about a dress color. Hate is seen as common sense. The world can be a dark and terrifying place, and it usually seems like things are just going to get worse.
Until today. For the first time in a very long time, the future seems brighter, and it’s all because today, Friday, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down the ban on same-sex marriage, making same sex marriage legal in the United States. Same sex couples can now marry in the United States.
If you could see my Facebook feed right now, you’d see nothing but a sea of exuberance and rainbows. You’d see this cartoon by Dr. James MacLeod. You’d see news stories of the first gay couples to get their marriage license in Texas, South Dakota, and Kentucky. You’d seen prospective brides telling you how happy they are that they can marry their fiancée legally on their wedding day. You’d see my co-worker holding up a sign to her wife that reads, “Will you legally marry me?” You’d see pictures of President Obama quoted as saying, “Today we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect.” You’d see pictures of Korra and Asami from Legends of Korra with the hashtag #LoveWins under them. You’d see people advertising their services for weddings and events. You’d see people joking about how they need to come up with excuses to miss twice as many weddings now. In a word, you would see people celebrating.
I cannot tell you how happy I am with this ruling, not just as a member of the queer community and a supporter of equal rights, but also as an American citizen. I am so proud of my country for choosing to do the right thing and extend equal rights to all of its citizens. I am so excited about what this means for us as a nation. I have never in my life been this proud to be American.
But I have to remind everyone that the work is not yet over. Some courts in some states may still try to uphold bans on same-sex marriages, necessitating lengthy and costly lawsuits. Most states still do not have comprehensive non-discriminatory laws, which mean some queer people can be fired or evicted Monday for celebrating this landmark decision. Bathroom bills attempting to limit transgender people are still being introduced in numerous states. Perhaps this particular battle has been won, but there are still many others left to tackle. So celebrate today, and go to the PRIDE events that are everywhere this weekend, but remember that on Monday we have to roll up our sleeves and get back to work. There is still much to do.