June 26, 2015 saw the day that hundreds of thousands of Americans fought for decades to have in our nation. Finally following the steps of dozens of countries before us, same-sex marriage was made a nationwide legal right.
The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that had been in place since 1996, was struck down as unconstitutional and the right to marry that had been previously decided individually by states became a federal decision.
Victory was rejoiced as joyous couples from all over rushed courthouses to make their long-lasting relationships finalized.
A battle was won, but unfortunately not the war.
The issue with DOMA being the only change made at a federal level is that this only recognizes the right for same-sex couples to marry.
A handful of other issues that LGBTQ members face has yet to be addressed federally and in many areas are not recognized by the state.
Marriage is a wonderful blessing to have but the next steps still seem treacherous.
What happens when a newlywed couple looking into adoption and creating a loving family is denied by the state because of their sexual orientation?
This LGBTQ couple is reminded that they are not equal and just as bad, if not worse, children are being deprived of the opportunity to enter a loving home. The wedding was legally established, but that doesn’t deem them fit to raise children.
Another gross conflict yet unspoken of in federal houses is the workplace for LGBTQ.
When applying for a position, circling the “married” option is often synonymous with checking the box for “not getting hired” when the marriage is to a same-sex partner.
Even a person who has been working for a company for years can be dismissed from their job once outed as LGBTQ.
It is a state decision to protect against discrimination like the above mentioned in the work place and many states don’t believe it is a human right to be protected for who you are and whom you love.
More than half of the states do not have protection for gender identities.
So, a person is capabale of being fired and told that they can be let go for being trans or nonbinary.
None of that speaks of a country that reigns in equality.
Yes, the right to marriage is a blissful opportunity that ought to be celebrated.
It is a privilege to live in a time that we see the dreams so scrupulously fought for come true.
However, one small wish granted does not imply time to wave the white flag.
Equality should not stop at marriage. It should not end with protecting same-sex couples.
A country based on the freedom to be yourself should be a country that protects everyone and grants each individual the same rights and opportunities regardless of race, sex, gender identity or sexual orientation.
The true victory will come when America reaches that stage and the war for LGBTQ rights can be something for the history textbooks.