Today’s 5-4 ruling in favor of marriage equality is indeed a historic, landmark decision. I will admit that in my youth, I failed to imagine that this would ever be possible in my lifetime. I failed to dream big enough. But then things changed in 2004, and the LGBT community has the Republicans to thank for it.
In 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco began marrying same-sex couples. There was no law saying that he was prohibited from doing so. Needless to say, conservatives and the GOP absolutely freaked out about it. They saw an opportunity to pander to their base and increase voter turn-out by putting state Defense of Marriage referendums on the ballots. It worked. George Bush won his second term on the backs of the LGBT community. In achieving their short-term goal, however, they sealed the fate of marriage equality prohibitions across the country.
By passing laws denying LGBT citizens equal protection, they had placed the marriage equality issue on the Constitutional table. By converting their de facto discrimination into de jure discrimination, they had given us the basis for achieving marriage equality nationwide.
The LGBT community and our allies, without any doubt, deserve the lion’s share of credit for the hard work that went into todays ruling. We have lived our lives openly and proudly. We have kept our eye on the goal and worked tirelessly to achieve it. We have worked long and hard for equality, and will continue to beyond this decision. The scathing dissents by all four justices on the wrong side of history point to the necessity of continuing the fight.
But we must give the GOP their due. It was their constitutional over reach, their arrogance and hubris that the LGBT community would huddle in the dark as they passed laws institutionalizing discrimination against us, that brought us to today. They couldn’t have been more wrong about our resolve to guarantee our equality.
So…THANK YOU, GOP! Thank you for pushing your bigotry too far. It makes that second term of Bush’s just a little easier to tolerate. I’ll be sure to raise a glass to you at my upcoming wedding.
Peace and Love, Yall