“If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.”
- Harvey Milk
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
I’m still gob smacked by what happened today. I never believed I'd live to see this day. If you'd have told eighteen year old me there'd be marriage equality and LGBTQ people serving openly in the military before I was forty I'd have laughed in your face. I realize there was really no real doubt how the high court was going to rule, but it’s still all so damn surreal. The United States of America has taken another step toward true marriage equality. I don’t say we HAVE achieved marriage equality because I still think the issue of Polyamorous marriages is on the horizon. However, that little chestnut is another fight and right now I’m still riding the high of legalized same sex marriage.
Of course the decision wasn’t even close to unanimous. Five of the nine Supreme Court Justices voted in favor of marriage equality. The dissenting votes came from Justices Roberts, Thomas, Alito, and Scalia all of whom filled the internet and news outlets with their sturm and drang pounding their breasts in righteous indignation. So only five Justices did the right thing, but that was enough to make same sex marriage the law of the land. The only way it can now be struck down is through a constitutional amendment. And as if on cue the various Republican talking heads have started talking about it with Koch Brother butt puppet Wisconsin Governor and Republican Presidential front runner Scott Walker being the most direct.
I’d LOVE to see him try.
No, I’m serious. The man is already going to be formidable in the campaign with the billion dollar Koch/Adelson war chest behind him. I think he’ll be the one to win the primaries and be left to square off with Hillary. I WANT Bernie Sanders as President but I think she’s going to crush him with her own corporate and banker funded stockpile… fucking politicians. So it’ll be Scott Walker and Hillary Clinton two jackasses who seem to fuck everything up. But if Walker makes a REAL push for a hate based constitutional amendment during the campaign, then boils and ghouls the shit is on.
But enough politics, I’m happy today and I want to stay that way. Also I need to thank some people. Don’t worry it won’t take long and I think it’s worth it.
When I was in junior high school in Ohio I became a fanatic on the subject of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. King is one of my personal heroes, yes I know there are some unflattering truths about him, but those make me love and respect him even more. HE was an American in every definition of the word and we should all try to be a little more like him. When I really started getting interested and involved in the LGBTQ rights movement I bemoaned the lack of a serious leader in the vein of Dr. King.
I am ashamed to admit in the years before the internet I’d never heard of Harvey Milk.
In the end I realized this was a different time and what was needed was a different tactic. We didn’t need one lightening rod leader, yes I know there were dozens of leaders in the first movement. We didn’t need a polarizing general on the battlefield. What we needed was a wave of individuals. We needed a swarm of people attacking the problem from every direction using every medium available to us until we smashed the walls down and ground them to dust.
When Dr. King and the other leaders of the movement went into action, it was a very different time and a different America. In the fifties and sixties the battle wasn’t in the courts or on the media outlets, there was no internet and therefore no way for everyone to get their message out. The fight for equal rights started in churches, in restaurants, in schools, and on buses. Courageous men and women were beaten, jailed, and killed by the very people who were supposed to protect them with most Americans none the wiser… until they were.
I can’t imagine the terror of the times. Books and recordings only convey so much.
I’m not in ANY WAY dismissing the struggles of the early LGBTQ activists. They also suffered their share of beatings, arrests, and murders. This isn’t a comparison of struggles because I think they are the same struggle, the struggle never went away it just quieted down for a generation. Yes, the fight to gain equality in the LGBTQ community went on longer but maybe we should take a second to look back at the men and women of the last civil rights surge and say thank you.
Maybe those men and women wouldn’t have approved of the court’s decision today for their own reasons, and let’s be honest a lot of them wouldn’t approve of this, but they laid a foundation. Because of them, the people who came after had a platform to start on. That doesn’t mean the struggle was easy or that there weren’t losses, but today we won a major victory for EVERY American.
There’s still a lot left to be done for all Americans, but right now I’m enjoying the afterglow. Tomorrow I’ll go back to the struggle because one day we will all be seen and treated equal under the law.
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