THE BLOG
04/23/2015 09:10 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

1,000,000 Reasons to Look Beyond Marriage Equality and Say #IDO

This post was co-authored by Karen K. Dixon and her wife Nan Schaffer.

The long wait is nearly over and we are thrilled that a team of brilliant attorneys will soon stand before the Supreme Court in support of the constitutional right for people in America to marry the person they love.

We are grateful to all the courageous plaintiffs who stood up to injustice, the corporations and small businesses that pledged their support for fairness, our military and political leaders who spoke out in favor of equal rights, and the hundreds of thousands of people who have marched, protested, signed petitions and filed briefs on behalf of our families and community.

Yet, as we look ahead and contemplate the state of the LGBTQ civil rights movement post-marriage equality, we cannot escape a sense of foreboding about a possible loss of momentum if this pivotal and historic moment is mistakenly perceived as "Mission Accomplished" rather than an important milestone on the path to full equality.

Indeed, even after we achieve marriage equality, our friends and family members can still be fired in 28 states for simply being who they are because their state has not enacted laws that tell employers and landlords that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is illegal. In these states, LGBTQ couples who post their wedding photos on Facebook today risk losing their incomes, benefits and housing options tomorrow. As natives of the Midwest, we know all too well what it's like to live in a state without the benefit of basic legal protections; as transplants, we know the freedom and sense of security such protection can provide.

We know firsthand about the enduring effects of discrimination and hate. We remember the pain of rejection and the isolation it brings and still viscerally react each time we hear about another desperate teenager that reaches for a rope, a gun or a handful of pills after coming out to a parent or pastor. A marriage equality victory won't provide shelter for homeless LGBTQ youth; stop bullying in our schools; protect our seniors from discrimination in nursing homes; ensure people with HIV have access to medical treatment; stem the tide of increasingly violent and too often fatal attacks on our transgender brothers and sisters or prevent misguided state legislatures from enacting discriminatory laws disguised as measures to promote religious freedom designed to eviscerate the legal protections we fought for years to obtain.

This is not the time to grow complacent, but it is the time to celebrate our achievements to date and then recommit our time, voices and resources to ensure the fight against discrimination continues.

With your help we can stave off complacency and maintain momentum by using this "marriage moment" as a call to action for every American that values justice and equality to stay in fight as we face the battles that lie ahead and the potential if not inevitable backlash.

To that end, we have Taken the Vow and offered a $1,000,000 Challenge Grant to Lambda Legal -- the oldest, largest, and strongest LGBTQ legal organization in the country and the most effective and respected advocacy group within this community. With an unparalleled track record of success, Lambda Legal has been leading the fight for equality -- and winning -- for more than 40 years. As an organization keenly aware of its role as part of a broader movement, no other organization has the experience or is better suited to coordinate the strategy for a multitude of issues among multiple partner organizations than Lambda Legal.

To meet our Challenge and ensure Lambda Legal has access to an additional $1 Million to expand the fight, we need you and your friends and family to join us as part of the equality movement that keeps moving forward by visiting www.lambdalegal.org and Taking the Vow by saying #IDO.

Say #IDO for people across our country who need allies and supporters.

Say #IDO to stand with the LGBTQ Community to show our opponents the strength of this movement.

Say #IDO as a symbol of America's collective resolve to ensure "Liberty and Justice for All."

With each Vow taken online and dollar donated between now and the moment the United States Supreme Court issues its decision in the pending marriage equality cases this June, we will donate $1 to Lambda Legal.

Over the next 10 weeks, instead of just waiting for the Court's decision, we can seize this moment and push ourselves and our nation -- without apology or compromise -- to join the fight for people like Julia Frost, a teacher who despite California's anti-discrimination laws, lost her teaching contract because she is an out lesbian and openly supportive of her LGBTQ students; to join the fight for Chanse Cox who, despite the American's with Disabilities Act, was fired by his Georgia employer because he is HIV positive; to join the fight for people in states with legislatures that have passed so-called religious freedom bills that attempt to legalize discrimination; and to join the fight for all the vulnerable LGBTQ teenagers that see suicide as their only option.

We trust Lambda Legal to continue securing our rights and protecting our freedom, but they cannot fight without your support.

They need you.

We need you.

Join us.

Take the Vow today and say #IDO.