Tuesday, July 07, 2015
The video above is the final Marriage News Watch, the weekly series of videos from Matt Baume, in association with the American Foundation for Equal Rights. It’s been a good, quick summation of what was going on in the fight for marriage equality in the USA, but with that right secured, the series is ending.
Matt began the series some four years ago, partnering with AFER a year or so later. During that time, he’s provided background information on what’s been happening, and as the legal victories started mounting, he kept a sense of perspective on what it all meant. It’s been a great resource, which is why I shared so many of the videos on this blog. I hope the videos are all archived somewhere for the invaluable resource they will be when the history of this time is written.
Marriage equality in the USA is now a fact, and no amount of wishing and foot-stomping by the radical right anti-gay industry is going to change that (and, by the way, “anti-gay industry” is a phrase I picked up from Matt). Obviously, the threat from the radical right hasn’t passed, but the focus has shifted: They’ll now focus on imposing their fundamentalist religious dogma on everyone else through enacting special rights in law so they can discriminate against LGBT people.
The irony in this is that before the radical right launched their crusade against marriage equality, the LGBT movement was focused solely on securing civil rights protections. We were diverted into the marriage fight the radical right started, and now we have 50-state marriage equality. Now, the same radical right anti-gay industry is determined to wipe out civil rights protections for LGBT people, so, given their track record, that means that 50-state protection of the civil and human rights of LGBT people is inevitable.
I’m being glib (though accurate, I bet), because the radicals will make life very difficult for some LGBT people in some places as they attempt to enshrine their anti-gay animus in law until we defeat them—just like the fight for marriage equality.
One day, this will all be over. Changing demographics, the increased visibility of everyday LGBT people just getting on with life, and the declining importance or organised religion to people all over the USA together mean that the viewpoint of the radical right anti-gay industry will sooner rather than later matter only within their churches. When this culture war is finally over, the radical right anti-gay folk will have exactly the same freedom and liberty as they had before they started the war, but everyone else will have freedom and liberty, too.
Someday, even most of our current adversaries will probably come to realise that’s a good thing, because expanded freedom and liberty is always a good thing.