U.S. Supreme Court Made History June 26, 2015 with Landmark Decision in Favor of Marriage Equality
A year ago on June 26th, several of us from NCLR sat in white-knuckled silence at the U.S. Supreme Court, waiting for the Court’s most important decision ever for LGBTQ Americans and their children. Anticipation gave way to jubilation when Justice Kennedy announced the Court’s decision. In soaring and inspirational prose, Kennedy’s opinion for the Court made clear that same-sex couples are entitled to be treated as full citizens under our Constitution, equal in freedom and dignity to their friends and neighbors, including the freedom to commit themselves to one another through civil marriage.
A year later, that moment stands as a triumphant reminder of how far the modern LGBTQ movement has come in less than half a century. Yet the events of the past year also show us how much work still lies ahead. The devastating attack on the LGBTQ and Latinx communities in Orlando reminds us that, even in 2016, we remain targets for hatred and violence. In state legislatures across the country, hundreds of rabidly anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced. Through the hard work of activists and citizens in every state, almost all of them were defeated, but despite our best efforts, sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation passed in North Carolina and Mississippi. And despite the progress we have made, family rejection of LGBTQ youth and harassment in schools continue to contribute to a host of harms, including an alarming rate of homelessness among LGBTQ young people.
The events of the past year make this anniversary a bittersweet one. But as our Executive Director Kate Kendell would say, we know how this story ends. We at NCLR will continue to fight for equality until every single member of our community can live their life openly, safely, and without fear.