In a landmark victory for gay rights today, 26 June 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled to allow same-sex marriage across the country – in all 50 states. The victory is known as Obergefell v Hodges, after a gay man sued the state of Ohio to get his name listed on his late husband’s death certificate. Today’s ruling will benefit every single gay person in America, but it will also benefit all of us, throughout the world. The vote was tight (5-4), but it was enough to secure the marriage of any gay person in America. Just prior to this ruling, gay marriage was allowed in only 38 of the 50 states.
How did this victory happen?
People in America, and all over the world, are slowly coming to accept that being gay is no less normal than being left-handed. They are coming face-to-face with more ‘real-life’ gay people: in the work-place, in their neighbourhoods, in the shopping mall. They have started to realise that we are just like anyone else: we go about our daily business, have fears and worries, get happy and sad, and we fall in love. Just that we fall in love with people of the same sex. And now that we have become mainstream, there is less reason to deny gay equality.
What this victory means for us
This victory is going to tip the odds in our favour by raising more awareness. More gay couples will get married, and in ten years, Americans will be laughing at how the old generation actually banned gay marriage. Slowly, things will change. There will be more mainstream films that include non-stereotyped gay characters, and these movies will be shown around the world. Gay people will start becoming popular.
A celebration for all
So a breakthrough like this needs to be celebrated by all. Even if you are sitting in a country where gay people are severely oppressed – this ruling is a small step towards your own freedom.
Gay will become normal. And no matter how boring that sounds, being normal is a huge victory.