On Monday in the early afternoon, the Supreme Court of the United States took a prominent step forward in the fight for social change in same-sex marriages. They denied all marriage appeals for petitions in seven different cases, which means that same-sex marriage is now a right of citizens in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, bringing the total number of states where same-sex marriages are legal to 24.
This decision is not only a huge step forward for social justice, but a major mark on our history.
With these changes and with the upcoming rise of appeals still to be determined by the court, it is said that soon our nation could have 30 states that allow same-sex marriages. However, I think it’s important to remember when these stories come up that this is not an issue of right and left. It’s an issue of right and wrong. We must not forget that.
Just stay with me here — I know that is a bold statement. But I believe it to be true with all of my heart and mind.
History tells us stories about the kind of justice we have received in this country. People fighting for social causes they believe in, and ultimately succeeding not because they are persuasive, but because their ideas are too sound and rooted in basic human nature to be ignored. In the end, if you are reading this, and still think in the back of your mind that same-sex marriages are unlawful and unjust, then I challenge you to think outside of the framework of religion or ritual, and think beyond, to basic happiness. We are now in the middle of a revolution, one that is becoming all too quickly another page in a history book. What side of history do you want to be on?
I think it will be interesting, when we look back on our lives, to see these kinds of changes that happened right on the brink of our society. As young people, we are challenged every day to take a stand for the things we believe in and to ultimately solidify our own opinions. These court decisions affirmed the beliefs and opinions of so many in the world about the right to love, to have legal standing with your partner, and the right to equality.
When I think about my life in the coming years, I can’t say I know where it will take me. I can’t say that I’ll be married myself, or that those that I love who struggle with adversity will want to marry either. But what I can say is that with the way things are going, the next years of my life will be equal to the years of those I care deeply for. We will all, hopefully, have the choice of being defended by our own nation. We will all, hopefully, be able to live a life of love without malice. We will all, probably, be on level ground. And that “probably” is a possibility that seemed impossible years ago.
When the generation of ours, the 20-something-year-old educated college students, grow older and wiser, what a story we will have. I will tell of the time I woke up, read the news on Twitter of a SCOTUS decision on marriage equality, and sought out to write about it. I will recall feeling noticed by my society, and not ignored. Frankly, this recent news of same-sex marriage thrills and invigorates me more than any other step forward has. It’s a stride toward a change of perspective of all people, and it’s a step toward a nation free from barriers on equality.
And with each extra stride we find a new kind of pace. However slow or fast that pace might be, it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s full speed ahead. I can’t wait until we are all aboard.