A Historic Victory for Same-Sex Marriage, and a Need to Get Beyond ALL Oppression and Prejudice

June 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 margin that same-sex marriage is legal throughout the United States. The right to marry is a basic right. Denial of that right has, for hundreds of years in this country, essentially deprived LGBT people of their humanity. This has been an historic, horrible injustice and outrage. This ruling is long overdue, and something to celebrate!

At the same time, there are many battles to come, and still a historic challenge to really, fully, deeply uproot enforced ignorance, cruel prejudice, legal discrimination, and vicious attacks on people who do not fit into patriarchy-defined gender roles.

Stonewall, June 28, 1969
Stonewall protesters on the night of June 28, 1969
(Photo: digbysblog.blogspot.com)

Act Up: “Read My Lips”
Act Up: “Read My Lips” was a campaign tactic that played on George H. W. Bush’s famous line from the 1988 Republican National Convention, "Read my lips, no new taxes" that forced the public to confront same sex unions. (Photo: www.openingceremony.us)

From the time gay people fought back against being arrested, beaten and persecuted by police at the Stonewall Inn nightclub in New York City, in 1969; through the courageous battles waged by ACT UP in the arenas of science, morality, medicine and law in the 1980s against the promotion of ignorance, hatred, superstition and persecution of people with HIV and AIDS; through defiant and defiantly joyous Pride events; and in the battle for legal equality—the courageous struggle for LGBT people to be treated as human beings has had to go up in the face of official and unofficial persecution, shaming, brutality and horrible cruelty.

And the determined struggle for equality, and to have the humanity of LGBT people acknowledged, in many realms, in many forms, has intersected with, and interacted with other struggles against injustice and oppression, as well as changes in the world and people’s attitudes.

All those factors contributed to today’s court ruling.

At the same time, this ruling has already been met with Dark Ages attacks, and overt contempt and defiance by legal and religious authorities. The Texas attorney general instructed officials not to follow the ruling—at least for now—and justified that with overtly theocratic logic: “no court, no law, no rule, and no words will change the simple truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

The Catholic News Agency favorably quoted Justice Antonin Scalia saying the decision was a “threat to American democracy,” “hubris” and a “judicial Putsch" [a Putsch is like an illegitimate coup d’etat that overthrows a government]. These are ominous developments, which we will be speaking to more here in coming days.

Gay Pride March New York, June 28, 2015
A father kisses his son as his husband holds the child during the Gay Pride March, New York, June 28, 2015. (AP photo)

Beyond attacks on this ruling, it is still the case in 2015 that only a handful of states even have anti-discrimination laws protecting the rights of gay, transgender, or gender non-conforming people. It is still perfectly legal in vast regions of this nation of so-called “equal rights” to fire a person from their job, kick a person out of a store, evict someone from their home or apartment, or deny a person the right to be legal guardians of their own children, just because they do not conform to the rigid gender roles dictated to them by this patriarchal system.

And it is still the case that huge sections of the religious establishment preach the most hateful and vicious contempt for LGBT people.

In short, this is still a society where millions and millions of people live in fear, are subjected to persecution, are driven to suicide, and even killed for being of a different sexual orientation than the patriarchal norm.

Persecution, oppression, and prejudice of all kinds are not “just the way it is.” Prejudice is not “human nature” or decreed by any supposed (invented) supernatural being. All this is a product of and has served thousands of years—the long dark night in human history—of societies divided into masters and slaves.

That long dark night must, and can, end everywhere in the world.

That is the mission of the revolution we need, and that we can make. That is the goal of the society brought to life in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. We are building a movement now for that revolution—to bring into being a completely different kind of system that will mobilize and unleash people to transform the world and themselves, to sweep away all forms and manifestations of oppression of every kind.


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