Women and minorities have secured some rights that are here to stay -- different for each group -- while other rights are still elusive or being stripped away. There is always a backlash to equality, and it could last a very long time, as bigotry doesn't die easily. Like every group, LGBT people have to remain vigilant.
A young gay writer just published an opinion piece telling people to stop displaying the rainbow flag colors on their profile photos. Why? Because "[g]ay pride is not something you can claim by waving a flag." Because "[t]he rainbow symbol is easy to co-opt, but the experience it represents is not." Because these people "were celebrating a victory they had no part in winning."
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that same-sex couples will soon have the freedom to marry and equal respect for their marriages across America. This ruling will bring joy to families, and final victory to the decades-long marriage movement. Here are some of the lessons learned over the years that could apply to other progressive social movements.
As the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage bans looms, the right wing has begun their assault on reason and intellect with the standard dire warnings, threats, and fear mongering in the form of corporate boycotts and revolt. As usual, their claims include flagrant misinterpretations of their favorite documents, the Constitution and the Bible.
The landslide victory for marriage equality in Ireland caught some conservatives off guard. What happened to the staunchly conservative, almost fanatical Catholicism of the Irish people? Paul Valleley, a professor of public ethics at the University of Chester, offered some important suggestions. He lists two major reasons.
Yes, be proud of our work this week. But there's so much more to do. Don't think our opponents aren't already regrouping and calibrating their next attack, moving on to other states. We cannot fool ourselves, dazzled by the events, into thinking that because we won a media battle, we have won the war.
The media treated longstanding questions about Schock's sexual orientation and how it relates to his anti-gay voting record differently from questions about his official spending and how it relates to his fiscally conservative positions, holding these kinds of alleged hypocrisy to different standards.
2014 was another blockbuster year for the freedom to marry. In January gay couples could marry in 19 states. By December that number had skyrocketed to 35 -- covering two thirds of the American people. The momentum for marriage is off the charts, and the joy and security marriage brings are now shared by millions of gay Americans.
For a company like Apple to stand at the forefront of diversity and equality issues as well as embracing a prominent gay CEO sends a message to businesses that to succeed, you need to embrace diversity and equality. Tim Cook has instantly made himself a role model for countless gay youth who can now point to a successful openly gay businessman and say, "I can do it too."
Utah State Rep. Kraig Powell (R-Heber City) is proposing innovative legislation in his state: "I have come up with a word we probably can use and see if the courts will accept. ... [T]he same-sex legal relationship between partners is called pairage. The legal relationship between opposite sex partners is called marriage." Mr. Powell is really onto something here.
Once we learn to see the stories of LGBT people not as "their" story but as human stories, then we can see that we are interconnected and our struggles are universal. After all, all people have to learn to feel comfortable in their own skin. We all have parts of ourselves that we need to come to terms with and accept, whether we're gay or straight.