Today, our Supreme Court sent a mixed and troubling message. While upholding the legal marriages of the 18,000 same-sex couples who married in California, the ruling establishes that all Californians are NOT entitled to equal protection of the law. This is a sad day for our state and a setback for the cause of freedom and fairness.
But it’s also important to keep this in perspective. Every noble struggle known to man or woman has been filled with losses—temporary defeats that people had to endure and overcome. We must pick ourselves up and move forward, knowing that justice ultimately will prevail and the right to marry will one day be ours forever.
Fortunately, this loss comes amidst a veritable tide of progress in many other state supreme courts and legislatures—a tide that cannot be turned back, no matter today’s decision. Not only are courts and legislatures recognizing that it’s wrong to discriminate against any group of people by denying them the fundamental freedom to marry the one they love, but now even a majority of Americans agree. Most people in the nation now believe that same-sex couples should be treated equally under the law.
That is enormous progress and we cannot let one election, one court case, one defeat or even many defeats stop us. And we must not let such challenges limit our dreams. Those who came before us and who could never imagine our successes did not give up. We owe the same dedication to those who are yet to follow.
Most importantly, we cannot afford to lose sight of the bigger picture. Ours is not a fight simply for the freedom to marry. Ours is a fight for full equality; full equality and nothing less.
Across the state, community gatherings will demonstrate the continuing support for marriage equality, contextualize this moment in the larger civil rights struggle and prepare for taking the necessary next steps forward toward securing civil marriage equality at the state and federal levels. In Los Angeles, marches and rallies are planned for this evening and the next few days - visit the Center’s homepage for the latest information.
On Saturday, May 30, in Fresno, Meet in the Middle 4 Equality is launching a statewide and national effort toward full federal equality. To learn more, visit http://meetinthemiddle4equality.com/.