On June 26th, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that state-level bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, which made a lot of lesbian and gay couples happy, among other people. For many people, especially those who consider themselves allies to the LGBT community, that seemed like the final goal. “Gay marriage” so dominated the LGBT rights discussion in the United States that it seemed like once that was legalized there wouldn’t be any more discrimination against LGBT people.
Those people were very wrong. Marriage rights, while important to some people, weren’t top of the list for many people within the community, and the struggle for equality continues, and likely will continue, for a long time.
There always were other problems to worry about. It is still very much possible for people who identify as gay, transgender, asexual, and beyond to be fired for their identity. Several states have, or are considering, instituting laws that require transgender people to use the bathrooms of their birth-assigned gender, and not the gender they live as. LGBT people are the most frequent victims of hate crimes in the United States. Even gay marriage isn’t guaranteed, as people around the country try to find ways to deny those rights, from refusing to give out marriage certificates, to refusing to perform ceremonies for or even sell cakes to same-sex couples.
The announcement of legalized gay marriage was a big deal, and rightfully so, because it was a victory in a long battle for equal rights that shouldn’t even be happening. LGBT people are people, and deserve the same rights as anyone else, from marriage to job protection to basic safety. The struggle is far from over though, no matter how many cities have Pride parades each year, during the rest of the year it’s time to buckle down and keep up the good fight.