This afternoon, a federal judge in Texas ruled the ban against same-sex marriage in Texas is unconstitutional.
As someone who lived in Texas for a long time, I should be glad. As someone who has been vocal about marriage equality for more than a decade, I should be ecstatic. There is movement within gaining LGBT rights. But my views on equality are evolving.
It’s a weird thing, really. When I moved to Massachusetts, I knew I could be legally married in the eyes of the state. It was thrilling and empowering. As a gay man, I suddenly had rights that had been long denied to me.
In the last few months, state after state has decreed their same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional. After all, giving civil rights and liberties should never be voted on by the masses. That’s why they’re civil rights and liberties. They’re in place to give protection to those who need it.
But with this, I find myself a bit sad. A bit overwhelmed.
Because there is more work to be done. Marriage equality is an easy thing to fight for because it’s lovely and pretty and sweet. There is more important work to be done with LGBT issues.
–29 states do not have workplace protection for LGBT people.
–Only 17 states offer workplace protection for gender identity.
–90% of trans-people report experiencing discrimination or harassment on the job with no legal recourse.
–It is illegal for same-sex couples to adopt children in 27 states.
–Only two states allow for same-sex conjugal visits in prison.
–29 states offer no protection from housing discrimination for LGBT people.
–19% of trans-people have been denied the right to rent or own a home/apartment because of their identity.
–11% of trans-people have been evicted because of their identity.
What is happening today in Arizona with SB1062 is a sign that there is much work left to be done. As written, the bill makes it legal to refuse service to members of the LGBT community. In a way, I’m glad this bill has been brought up. It exposes the lack of rights within the LGBT community, rights that extend far beyond marriage equality.
There is much work to be done.
Texas may be the final nail in the coffin for marriage equality. When Texas goes, other states will follow. But this is the beginning. I hope others realize the fight for equality has just begun. The movement has just begun.