The Next Chapter of the Equality Story

It has certainly been an exciting Pride month. The events closing the month around the world had a little extra to celebrate as Friday’s Supreme Court decision added the United States to the growing list of countries in which marriage is open to opposite- and same-sex couples. It’s the latest victory in a long line of victories emanating from the Stonewall Inn raid in New York City 46 years ago. Indeed, the battle for equality has been around for considerably longer, but we mark the awakening of a sense of being and community within those who identify as LGBTQ.

The struggle for equality hasn’t been all success—there have been setbacks. We’ve lost so many along the way, friends and loved ones who fought oppression, violence and even disease to raise awareness and demand the respect of all people by everyone. We celebrate another victory, but the effort must continue. While there are many countries yet to join the marriage equality list, we must continue to fight for full equality in the workplace, the right to basic respect and safety, the right to be human. And those rights must extend to everyone, everywhere.

So while we celebrate the latest victory and welcome our American friends to a higher level of understanding and acceptance, we must not lose sight of the ongoing effort—the work that remains to be done. Our gratitude and love should be extended to Jim Obergefell and the other petitioners on a monumental legal effort that has shown the world that justice does exist, albeit slow and often in small does. But baby steps, patience and perseverance get us to the next hurdle. Knowledge, respect and dignity get us over it.

We must also remember the gargantuan efforts of organizations and volunteers whose commitment, unity and solidarity, have provided momentum to the cause in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

So much has been done already, that which remains should seem simple. Indeed, some of the hardest work has already been done; the rest should be a snap! Right?

Perhaps we should put that thought on hold. I have tried to give a gentle reminder about more work to do. Unfortunately, some reminders are not quite so subtle.

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