The Fight for LGBT Rights Is Still Just As Urgent

Let's stop for a moment and recognize how significant what happened in Georgia last week is. Disney, Marvel and several other major corporations threatened to boycott Georgia if the religious liberty bill, which would limit LGBT rights, were passed. Such fierce opposition to the legislation ultimately forced Governor Nathan Deal to veto the bill.

Many new outlets glossed over this because it didn't include the name "Trump" but I'd like to bring our attention back to it, as the issue keeps coming up. (The exact same thing is happening in Missouri as I type this) This is an example of corporations using economic pressure to push their liberal agenda on a conservative state. That sounds terrible but, I would say, in this case, they used their powers for good.

Last June, we celebrated a historic victory for the LGBT community when the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage as a constitutional right. We thought it was over, but just a few months later, we saw Kentucky Clerk, Kim Davis, refuse to give marriage licenses to gay couples on moral grounds. A number of news articles popped up, detailing similar events. It's easy to dismiss these as one-off situations. After all, the Supreme Court ruling should supersede all these disputes. But, as long as bigotry and homophobia live, there will always be individuals who seek to undermine that authority and revoke those rights.

The abolition of slavery didn't immediately guarantee equal rights to African Americans. Soon, the Jim Crow laws arose as a way to continue to oppress people of color in a different way. They were technically no longer slaves, but they were still treated as second-class citizens. It took over a century of campaigns, such as the Civil Rights Movement, for black people to gain more freedom and rights in this country. Given the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it's clear that struggle continues.

All this to say, because we have the legal right to marry doesn't mean the fight's over. I'm happy to see it was recently ruled that we have the right to adopt in all 50 states. That's huge. But then less than a week afterward, the Governor of Mississippi signs a bill allowing businesses to refuse gay customers. In the same manner, the black community had to fight for rights long after the chains were broken, the gay community must likewise continue to press on for theirs.

I will say that I remain incredibly hopeful and optimistic. We live in a very different time from the one I grew up in. I would have never imagined I would ever be able to marry the man I fall in love with. I never imagined we'd ever get the right to adopt kids. I couldn't fathom major corporations siding with the LGBT community to oppose legislation that would discriminate against them. The future is bright and I can't wait to see what happens next. A gay President? Hey, the sky's the limit, at this rate. As we continue to fight for our rights, I remain ever encouraged that we will continue to reach true equality for all peoples in our lifetime.