Earlier this week the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and said good by to Proposition 8. This was a plus for diversity and inclusion.
For LGBT couples in states where same-sex marriage is legal it’s historic. They are now eligible for over 1,000 Federal benefits, including joint tax returns, and survivor spouse and child social security benefits.
For lesbian and gay people who are not married, it’s historic in that it holds out the promise of what’s possible.
For supportive of families of LGBT people this decision lets them know that they are not alone, and that they too can dance at their children’s weddings.
For California, it means increased revenues and employment for the whole wedding industry; hotels, restaurants, florists, hair salons, wedding apparel and there will be more tourists flocking to our state to get married or who have friends and family getting married. Those people won’t want to just spend one day here in the SF area, so they will come and spend money.
And of course more money for cities because of the people buying marriage licenses.
It also means that more people will be out and open about who they are, and feel recognized as equals.
Same-sex relationships will no longer be considered second-class in the eyes of the law in a growing number of states.
As I’ve said so many times when I told the story of my son and I about the death of my partner and how our son couldn’t get her social security benefits, that I hope that families from same-sex couples won’t have to go through what we did in time of loss, and I’m happy to know that fewer of them will.
With all of this elation, I want to add some reminders and cautions lest we forget about equal rights equally.
Enda has still not passed. It’s still legal in over 20 states to fire someone because of sexual orientation.
We have more work to do, we need to stand up, speak out, and educate
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., noted that Wednesday’s ruling does not fully repeal DOMA and the law still allows states to refuse to acknowledge gay couples legally married in other states
John Boehner, Rand Paul etc. are vowing to take the anti- marriage equality to the states and ensure that the remaining states have their own DOMA
We have more work to do- we have to stand up, speak out and educate.
In addition to helping diversity and inclusion, the Supreme Court made a decision that is detrimental to diversity and inclusion, and can have far-reaching ramifications for equal rights
They struck down the most essential part of the of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 now allowing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval.
They can change districts, forbid early voting, and institute voter ID requirements that are hard for many low income, elderly people in mostly Black, and areas that tend to vote Democrat by a great majority. And the people imposing these rules are not our friends, they are the ultra-conservative we hate gay lawmakers, and if they restrict the people who vote for the people who support marriage and every other kind of human civil right, that means we won’t get any new rights and will be in danger of the ones we newly have.
So we have more work to do, we need to stand up, speak out, educate and not think we’ve reached the promise land, because no one group will get there alone.