News & Politics

In the Wake of Marriage Equality: What Next?

There’s been a lot of talk about what to do next now that marriage equality is the law of the land. Sure we need to be vigilant to ensure that these gains aren’t reversed and that the Kim Davises of the world aren’t given their own talk shows on CNN or elected to office (again).

Some organizations are now looking to secure equal rights for other marginalized groups. And one, Freedom to Marry, is even closing up shop.

But there are other issues of social justice that are worthy of our attention.

 PHOTO CREDIT: THE STIR

PHOTO CREDIT: THE STIR

It’s worth remembering that we couldn’t have achieved marriage equality without allies. After all, it wasn’t through Jesus’ will that we obtained marriage equality and it wasn’t planetary alignment. No, it was a lot of work—changing society’s view of us and educating lawmakers.

And it took the work and support of a lot of straight people. A lot.

So maybe we could repay some of that support by rallying behind some issues that help our straight allies (and most of us, too).

For starters, gays could throw their weight behind securing a living wage. Or more generous maternity/paternity leave policies that help bring the United States in line with its peers. According to a recent report, “The United States, along with Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia and Lesotho are some of the only countries in the world that provide no type of financial support for mothers…” So, on second thought, why not aim high and try to legislate more generous policies for maternity leave that distinguish ourselves from our “peers”, Liberia and Swaziland?

Source: "Children's Chances: How Countries Can Move From Surviving to Thriving" by Jody Heymann With Kristen McNeill

Source: “Children’s Chances: How Countries Can Move From Surviving to Thriving” by Jody Heymann With Kristen McNeill

 

And there’s something in it for us, too, after all. If we’re going to have gay marriage with unions that produce children (in whatever manner), we ought to have policies that help make the latter easier.

Reflect a bit and we can easily identify at least a dozen causes behind which we can rally. While discrimination against gays is less common, there’s still plenty of it, along with discrimination against blacks, women, Latinos, and low-income Americans.

In short, the directions in which we can direct our energies are numerous. And nothing could better illustrate that gays have arrived by joining those who have helped us achieve equality be helping to ensure that their lives are better.

Seems it’s the least we could do.

 

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