The news on Monday from the Supreme Court is without a doubt a step forward for LGBT equality. Loving couples across North Carolina — and those in 29 other states and the District of Columbia — will have the cloud of government-sanctioned discrimination finally lifted from their relationships.
In 20 other states, couples will continue to wait — their rights and privileges denied. It will be up to advocates to continue pushing district and appellate courts for action in the absence of a major decision from the Supreme Court.
Ultimately, though, the tide has turned. For centuries, LGBT people have felt the weight of government oppression and control over our lives, our loves and our bodies. No more. The march forward is clear and there is no going back. Soon, a supermajority of states will have legal same-sex marriage. And, no matter how loud they kick and scream, our opponents will soon come to the realization that their fight against marriage equality is over.
But, marriage equality won’t end all of the oppression, discrimination, prejudice and bigotry forced upon our community. The same right-wing groups that so passionately opposed marriage equality will choose to engage on other issues. Indeed, they already have — most notably in their efforts attacking transgender people and trans-inclusive non-discrimination efforts.
That’s why advocates across North Carolina and the nation will have to determine what their priorities are for addressing these myriad issues — like employment and housing discrimination, just to name two of countless others — often overshadowed by the last decade’s debate on marriage.
To those on the wrong side of history, I say it’s time for you to hang it up. Move on. Find happiness in your life and quit creating havoc in others.
To those on the right side history, I ask, what’s next? Where will this movement go? How will we address so many issues left on the sidelines as the bulk of our movement’s dollars and resources were mobilized for marriage?
In the days, weeks and months ahead, I’ll look forward to the answers and to reporting and chronicling even further advances in LGBT equality.