Today I was supremely proud to be an American.
As sad it is to say, the past few years it’s been very hard to identify times that really make me feel PROUD of my country and where I live. When I try to be proud about being American, all I think about is discrimination, frustration with legislation and it’s shot to hell. America is a great place – but there are so many things that muddle the waters and make it hard to identify that patriotism.
But today, June 26th, 2015, I am extremely proud to call myself an American because our Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country through Obergefell vs. Hodges.
This is SUCH a win to the LGBT community and it’s so incredible to be a part of it. Being from California, I remember marriage legalization laws taking form through “No on Prop 8.” in high school (specifically remembering how confusing the language around the law was – saying “NO” to Prop 8. was to essentially say “YES” to gay marriage). It was through Prop 8. that I realized I wanted to be heard and really found issue with the way our country handles legislation. I started a campaign in high school for Students For Gavin Newsom, but was soon shut down since his liberal qualities did not always match up with that of my private Catholic schools’. Gavin Newsom was the inspiring politician that first put gay rights into California legislation. Because of this, and because of his commendable qualities – I have always been a supporter. Fast forward to today: everything has come full circle and the entire nation finally recognizes gay marriage. This journey has been an emotional one – supporting the movement and Gavin Newsom and surprisingly being able to see it come full circle. It has also been a personal journey as well as a supporter of the LGBT community.
The legalization of same-sex marriage is much more than the validation of LGBT rights. I see same-sex marriage as gender-neutral marriage: This is every bit a win for LGBT equality as it is for gender equality and human rights.
Prior to today, our legislation recognized the union of marriage as between a hetero-couple – based on their ability to reproduce… an archaic and much too-Catholic-Christian (if I may) way of looking at the family institution. Our society has changed significantly and to now be able to recognize families other than the heterosexual “nuclear” family, is forever altering the gender norms.
To allow gender-neutral marriages, is to begin to change the landscape of these “gender norms” we abide by.
- Women should care for children and the home
- Men should be the main breadwinners
- Women are submissive
- Men are dominant
The above are simple examples of the gender stereotypes we see in society, whether we like it or not.
The legalization of gender-neutral marriages is one step closer in achieving gender equality. Heteronormative patterns in employment, child-rearing, should not apply. And perhaps, heterosexual couples can take queues from same-sex couples and the equal relationship roles. Maybe if we behave as equals, legislation will soon follow.
But until then, looking forward to some BROdal showers upcoming!