Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 26, 2015: Historic day for equality in the USA!

Image via Newsweek

Yesterday - June 26, 2015 - was a history day for civil rights, equality, and LGBT rights in the USA.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the USA ruled that everyone has a right to marry.

Many of us knew the decision was to be announced yesterday, and along with millions of others worldwide, I awaited the decision. I wish I could have been downtown (I currently live in Washington, DC - capital of the USA, home of the Supreme Court and the White House, pictured above) with the revelers, but when the decision was announced, I was alone in my office at my day job. I started crying when I learned the news. Friends and family called, texted, and emailed throughout the day, and I went around crying and hugging my co-workers. When I came out nearly 20 years ago, I never imagined I'd see this day in my lifetime. This is an amazing victory and I think June 26 should become a national queer/LGBTQ holiday!

All kinds of wonderful support was evident yesterday, and continues to be so. Last night the White House, home of President Barack Obama and the First Family, lit up in rainbow lights in support of the decision - pictured above.

This post has nothing to do with mail, but it has so much to do with my life, and I had to share the joy. As I have mentioned before (see "I'm a day late for National Coming Out Day" or the labels gay or transgender for more info), my husband Alex is transgender and I am bisexual; we identify as a queer couple, not straight. We are legally married already, but that is really only through luck. Alex happened to be born in a state that, for a certain period of time, allowed folks to change their birth certificates, and he got his birth certificate changed at the right time to allow us to marry legally. This would not have been possible if he hadn't been able to change his birth certificate, and if he hadn't been able to jump through all the hoops to change his gender legally from female to male, on the right documents (birth certificate, driver's license, passport, etc: a different process for all). I'm not going to go into all the details about that, but we were one of the few queer couples who was lucky enough to achieve that legal status. Yesterday that right was granted to all couples in love in the USA, regardless of gender - no more discrimination. All our friends and loved ones can marry if they wish, and those who have already married in states that previously allowed it will now be granted all the federal benefits, and their marriages must be recognized all across the country... even in the states that had previously explicitly banned and refused to recognize their unions.

Please join me in celebrating this occasion that holds immeasurable joy!

UPDATE: It is worth noting that just moments after my tweet about this blog post, I received my first homophobic hate tweet. It is hardly that bad, but it is noteworthy nonetheless. We are going to see a lot of backlash to this decision from those haters. Haters gonna hate. Buckle your seatbelts, because we are in it for the long ride.