Letters from a Lesbian / Cartas de una Lesbiana
Since April, we have been waiting patiently for the ruling from the Supreme Court regarding marriage equality. June is LGBT Pride month, and we were told we would receive a decision during our pride month. Day in and day out we waited. Finally, on Friday, June 26, 2015, SCOTUS delivered some of the best news we have ever heard. Marriage equality is now the federal law of the land.
This decision goes far beyond a wedding, though. What marriage equality brings us is a group of rights that heterosexual couples have been entitled to from the beginning. Below is a list of some of the rights we are now entitled to. Please note that this is a very abridged list as there far too many rights to list completely:
Right to marry / right to divorce; hospital visitations; child custody rights; parenting rights; automatic inheritance; divorce protections; immigration law; social security benefits; survivor benefits; federal taxes / joint taxes; exemption from property tax upon death of a spouse; medical decision-making power on behalf of a spouse, and many, many more.
This is huge. This is an incredibly exciting time for us. We have just witnessed history first hand. We have gained so much. It’s wonderful knowing that we are being treated as equal citizens. There are no words in any language that could ever possibly express my excitement and my gratitude. The LGBT community has just won one of the greatest victories of our lifetime.
For as wonderful as this is, though, our job is not done yet. Our marriage rights have been protected, but we still have a way to go. In New York State, GENDA still has yet to be passed. The Trans community especially suffers from the lowest rights and greatest discriminations out of everyone in the LGBT community. It is still legal to suffer inequities because of our gender expression. Though we have just made a tremendous leap forward, full equality does not reach every member of the LGBT community.
All of that being said, the good news is that this is so monumental, acquiring full equality is much closer than ever before. Yes, we still have work to do. With the Supreme Court on our side, I don’t think it will take us very long to achieve full equality. We must stand together in solidarity. As a community – as an entity of people –our words, our actions, and our presence will lead the country to full and equal rights and liberties for every LGBT person.
So let us celebrate! This historic decision has been long awaited for. This is our victory, this is our moment, this is our time. Our community and our rights are moving forward, and they will not stop until we all reach full impartiality. Come, let us all walk into the light of equality together.
Live life in your own special way,