On Friday, June 26, 2015, American history was made. With the United States Supreme Court victory of 5-4, marriage equality is once and for all legalized in all 50 states of the United States of America. Throughout the nation, American citizens are effusive with joy and happiness, crowding the streets with celebration.
This day is here, but I thought it would take years more to reach where we are today. I’m glad that America proved me wrong; it shows that the progression of our nation toward complete unity and acceptance of each other is advancing quickly.
However, the fight has not ended; this is just the beginning. While people may have their marriage license in any of the fifty states, it still does not abolish the harsh discrimination they face today. People are still evicted from their homes when they attempt to add their new same gender spouse to the lease. Hotel room access is still denied to people simply because of their sexual orientation. People are rejected from loans because of whom they have chosen to marry. People are fired from their jobs because they update their employment forms declaring they’re espoused. Children are expelled from college when their school hears about his or her new legal parent. The difference? All these absurd actions are legal as well.
According to the Center for American Progress, twenty-nine of the fifty states are without specific sexual-orientation nondiscrimination protections and thirty-two of the fifty miss specific gender-identity nondiscrimination protections. This means that in over half of America it is still legal to deny employment, reject servicing, and decline shelter to citizens because of their gender and orientation. In fourteen states, it is also allowed to legally marry a same-sex partner one day and be fired the next. This wrongful discrimination leads to catastrophes such as homelessness, poverty, poor health results, and unemployment all simply because of an inherent trait of one’s personality.
These actions are unjust and immoral and need to be acted upon immediately. Having marriage equality legalized throughout the nation is simply one of the many steps toward fairness and complete equality.
Much more improvement is needed in America, I strongly believe we will get there someday, just like we did on June 26th. Yes, it may take time, but as a growing nation, we will eventually get there. Taking it one step as a time, with all our efforts and working together, America will be stronger than ever before.
– Written by Zoya Syed (redefy school representatives team member)