There Are Still 'Two Americas,' Says HRC

6.26.2013

By Andrew Belonsky

Chad Griffin points out that there's still work to be done on the marriage front.

As someone who has covered DOMA and marriage equality and all these court cases for years, I understand how easy it is to get carried away in the swell of celebratory emotion, and the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA, so sweeping and definite, has an even more alluring pull. I'll admit that a few tears came to these eyes of mine. But Human Rights Campaign, in their celebratory press release, remind us all that the end of DOMA isn't the end of discrimination. Only 13 states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage to tie the knot. There are more battles to be fought.

"While we celebrate the victory for Californians today, tomorrow we turn our attention to the millions of LGBT people who don't feel the reach of these decisions," said HRC Executive Director Chad Griffin. "From the Rocky Mountains to the heart of the South, it's time to push equality forward until every American can marry the person they love and all LGBT people are guaranteed equal protection under the law."

The Supreme Court's decision does nothing to change the reality that there are still "two Americas," said Griffin, who called out New Jersey, Hawaii and Nevada as ongoing battlegrounds in the still simmering, nearly but not quite over culture wars.

"These decisions underscore the emergence of two Americas. In one, LGBT citizens are nearing full equality. In the other, our community lacks even the most basic protections," said Chad Griffin. "Everywhere that injustice still prevails, we will fight for justice. And our message to those who cement their feet on the wrong side of history is that we will win."

HRC will also be working with the government and couples to hash out exactly what happens to a couple who marries in, say, New York, but lives in Mississippi. And of course there's employment non-discrimination to deal with, as well.

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