Marriage equality does not equate to equality.
Recent successes in getting recognition of the gay marriage rights make it is easy, and even tempting, to get complacent. There is such euphoria over the sweeping tide of marriage rights victories that we sometimes forget that bigotry and discrimination is alive and well. There is still a fight needing to be fought.
George Takei FBed this morning the story of a teacher in Ohio who was fired because her lesbian partner’s name was mentioned in her mothers obituary. Apparently, an irate parent (anonymously) complained to the Roman Catholic Diocese and, under pressure from the diocese, the school terminated the teacher. How many things are wrong with this picture?
First, while I know it happens, the fact that someone is robbed of their livelihood as a result of sexual orientation is shocking and we should continue to view it as shocking; these incidents seem, to me, to have been relegated to “quirky news items – something those crazy religious folks do” – this undermines their seriousness as an affront to a culture that was ostensibly built on free opportunity for all. Secondly, what right does the church have to give any direction to schools. I don’t want to draw false comparisons, but the blurring of the separation of church and state and the desecularization of government and schools has been seen, many times, to give rise to religious extremism.
Gay marriage rights are important. But they pale in comparison to the right to live as an equal citizen, with equal opportunity, free from hate and discrimination.
Lets not rest to easy on early victories.