Celebrate but prepare
Welcome to this week's Reno News & Review.
Someone for whom I have a lot of respect recently suggested I write less about what I do and more about what I think of the issues of the day. I'm fine with that, although I think people's general yearning to separate what they do—how they act—from what they think is a big part of what's wrong with humanity in general and this country in particular.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage legal, and the country reacted as expected, exploding in rainbows and hate rhetoric. Presidential candidates rushed to politicize it. Obama, of course, took credit for the ruling, and I have to think that if he had just left it alone, instead of immediately giving the opposition party something to be against, our country could have moved more easily toward unity.
I'm all for celebrating it, but it's only a small step. To be clear, this ruling only affects the gay people who have already gotten married or want to get married. It's as was said before, “If you don't want to get gay married, don't marry someone of the same sex.” It has no bearing on the vast majority of Americans.
In the meantime, broader battles go on. Gay people can still be fired from their jobs in 29 states for loving the wrong person. There is no federal law protecting LGBT workers against workplace discrimination. I barely need to mention that women don't have guaranteed equality in the workplace.
LGBT people can be discriminated against in housing in most states, with landlords having the right not to rent to gay people—often because somebody else's orientation violates their religious tenets. Or let's talk about adoptions by gay couples.
Are you familiar with the term “dog whistle”? It's a word or phrase that has a different meaning to some individuals than others. I hear the phrase “marriage equality” used in sentences with “attack on religious freedom” like a shrill squeal echoing back from the future.
It's been the RN&R's policy to call “same-sex marriage,” “marriage” for a while now. Celebrate the marriage decision but get prepared. The big battles are yet to be fought.