A Win for Equality

Kennedy gay marriageToday SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) made a landmark decision. Like Roe v. Wade and Brown v. Board of Education, Obergefell v. Ohio will shape our history and be studied for years.

This decision does not impact my ability to live my life. I am not gay. I don’t have gay family members. However, it is still important to me.

I do have gay friends and I am glad that our country is starting to support them as an equal class the way they have started to support women and different ethnicities. I say started because the fight for equality is a process that spans decades and even centuries.

It is also important to me because I feel it  makes the US a country where empathy for differences, alongside the ability for self-acceptance, is NOW not just something we discuss; it is something we actually believe. This decision helps make a kinder world for my children and it helps me teach them about the importance of accepting everyone.

Obergefell

Obergefell on the phone with President Obama

A lot of people in this country will be upset with this decision. They view it as an affront to their religious beliefs. I am a deeply spiritual person, but to me it isn’t about religion. The word marriage has many meanings and only some of these meanings are religious. In the context of our legal society marriage is the term for a contract between two people which provides them undeniable rights underneath the laws of the United States. Doesn’t everyone deserve that?

That is why this decision, for me, is about equality. And I want to raise my sons in a nation where everyone is equal regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. Not that we don’t have a lot of work.  A little over a week ago, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Hon. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., Rev. Sharonda Singleton, and Myra Thompson all welcomed someone very different from themselves into their bible study. Their gesture of kindness and love cost them their lives at the hands of a domestic terrorist. Their deaths are a national tragedy and show just how much work we still have.

That is why today, for me, is not just about a man legally being able to marry another man or a woman legally being able to marry another woman. Today is about our country working toward equality. It is a process, but as a mother raising children I am thankful that it is one that is still moving forward.

Peace, Love, and Equality,

Kristen

Image credit: cnn.com

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