I remember sitting at my parents’ kitchen table with them about a month before the Supreme Court announced the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide. We were talking about what they thought was going to happen. My parents did not believe that the Supreme Court would rule in favor of same-sex marriage across the nation and asked me why I was convinced that they would, that in 2015 they simply had to.
I began to draw a picture for them and pulled them back into the 60s during the civil rights movement. The reality of our conversation focused on the fact that GAY RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS because, I mean, they really are. I think that is a fact that a lot of people in this country commonly forget. I told them that if the Supreme Court did not legalize same-sex marriage across the nation the entire country would become divided. If this became a state by state decision and people were unable to live with these very basic human rights in certain states there would be mass migration away from those states that did not have equal rights and an over population in those that do. It would completely divide us as a nation. I knew that the Supreme Court would have to legalize this. It was time. It had been time for a very long time.
Not even a full year from that decision we (as an LGBTQ) community have faced fight after fight in different states around the US who continue to discriminate against people within our community. Most notably, Kim Davis, whose flagrant disregard for the responsibilities of her government position was news for an incredibly long time. And it continues as Queerty reported on a new bill (HB2) that was passed in North Carolina that makes it legal to discriminate against people in all public spheres solely based on their sexual orientation and/or their gender identity.
As a member of the LGBTQ community this is horrifying, but as a citizen of the United States, I am completely appalled by this news. It is truly scary because it brings into question everything this country stands upon. The bedrock of our nation is supposed to be equality for all people. How is it okay for this law to be passed and people to be legally discriminated against for parts of themselves that they cannot change? This law really amplifies the notion that people do not respect and accept people within the LGBTQ community with an understanding that their identities are a natural and unchangeable aspect of who they are. Similar to your race and ethnicity, your sexual orientation and gender identity are parts of yourself that should never be made arbitrary or to feel inferior to any other person or group.
There has been a trend in the United States recently furthering us more and more from this bedrock of equality. With the upcoming presidential election around the corner and with candidates like Trump, who is a walking bigot, sexist, racist, and heterosexist, among many other –ists, as a front runner it is a truly terrifying time to be LGBTQ in the US. This type of discrimination leads to unrest and I hope that those who truly believe in equality will come together and fight for the rights of ALL HUMANS regardless of their differences.
Underneath everything, we are all the same, and we all deserve the same rights.