Fifteen years ago I was writing my blogs about marriage equality and following the states who were voting to legalize it and states voting to outlaw it. I had a passion for marriage equality. I have one gay son and one straight son. One was able to marry and one was not. I wanted equal rights for my children.
Today my passion is for equal rights for LGBTQ citizens. Twenty-one states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico have statutes that protect against both sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination in employment in the public and private sector. That means there are 39 states where someone can be fired just for being LGBTQ.
It is legal to discriminate in housing, in adoption, in providing services and health care. My gay son is one of the lucky ones. Even though the state where he lives does not protect him, his employer does. Too many people don’t have that in their lives.
The Supreme Court will be deciding LGBTQ rights. They will decide if it is unconstitutional to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals. There are three cases before this term of the Supreme Court and I’m scared.
I was scared when Prop 8 from California was before them and we won. I was scared when the Defense of Marriage Act was before them and we won. I was scared when marriage equality was before them and we won.
But we had Anthony Kennedy then and he was the swing vote. Today, John Roberts is considered the swing vote and he dissented in the marriage equality vote and the Defense of Marriage vote. He voted in favor of the Prop 8 vote but that was not really about marriage equality as it was about standing.
These cases before the Supreme Court will decide the future for our LGBTQ loved ones. I’m more afraid than I was on any of the other cases. The face of the Supreme Court has changed and it will likely be this way for many more years.
I will wait for their decisions and mourn or celebrate with my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. I pray that they do the right thing.