- Posted June 26, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Same-sex couples react to Supreme Court rulings
No joy in Ohio
Today is an amazing and historic day in the fight for full LGBT equality. The SCOTUS rulings are a great step forward for LGBT equality. As I read the news reports and blogs I see images of celebrations, cheering, and festivities from across the country, yet I sit here feeling more sadness than happiness. I am sad because I am left out. The Prop 8 ruling gives LGBT couples in California the right to marry. I do not live in California. The DOMA ruling has national consequences, but I live in Ohio. In 2004, Ohio banned same-sex marriage. Because Ohio has an archaic law that says same-sex couples are lesser than opposite-sex couples, I cannot reap the immediate benefits of the death of DOMA. There were two historic rulings today, but my life won’t be changed a bit by either of them for the time being.
I see these rulings as symbolic relative to my life. I yearn to be one of the lucky who see immediate life changes based on today’s rulings. LGBT couples legally married just gained some 1,500 federal rights today. Couples in California will soon be able to be recognized as married couples. Couples across the country in situations similar to me are still second class citizens in our home States. Our lives only changed in a symbolic and abstract way. I refuse to move or to get married elsewhere because a marriage to my partner (of more than 15 years) is still void in my home State. The happiness I feel seems somewhat hollow because I am still not equal to the heterosexuals in Ohio.
I kind of expected to be running through the streets waving a rainbow flag while being overcome by uncontainable joy and happiness because of the rulings. Instead, I am sitting here in disbelief at the fact that I don’t feel like celebrating. These thoughts and words flow as the lump in my throat just won’t go away. I am still a second class citizen. I am still not worthy according to the laws of my State. I want to join in the celebration of my newly attained rights, but the joy is not there because I still can’t utilize what was awarded today.
To my LGBT brethren in more accepting States, especially you who got a double win in California…rejoice and be happy, for this day is truly yours. For those of us stuck in less accepting States, this was a huge symbolic win…keep our eye on the prize. Someday we will be able to realize the effects of today’s victories. I will need some time to mourn the realization that I still have to wait, but soon the sadness will become the motivation I need to continue the fight for full LGBT equality. I genuinely and wholeheartedly wish congratulations to all of the married LGBT couples across the country and congrats to all of the soon-to-be-married couples in California! You have worked hard and history is on your side today! Someday we will ALL be able to stand together without leaving anyone behind, for we are all created equal…not just those who live in open and accepting States!