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California ruling shines hope for all LGBT people

By |2018-01-15T22:42:50-05:00May 22nd, 2008|Uncategorized|

It’s the most populated, perhaps most diverse state in the U.S. It’s known for being culturally and sociologically ahead of the times. And now, California and all of its 36 million citizens – not just the straight ones – are free to marry whomever they wish.
Californians have been threatening an anti-marriage proposal would make it onto the November ballot – this historic landmark ruling surely shakes things up in favor of full equality.
On Thursday, May 15, the California Supreme Court voted 4-3 in favor of granting full rights, including health care, visitation, adoption and yes, marriage, to all persons regardless of their sexual orientation.
Parties were thrown, people jumped for joy and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia DeRossi announced their wedding plans. But what does it mean for the rest of the nation?
Most would say nothing, but they’d be wrong. If Michigan right-wingers are wiping their hands across their brows and thanking their discriminatory God that they don’t live in a state with laws that spit on the man-woman institution of marriage, they shouldn’t relax so soon. I’m sure people in the past who were racist felt that their narrow-minded beliefs were safe, too, and we all know how that story goes.
As for those of us in Michigan who are sulking about, wishing that our government could be so brave, fret not.
When changes take place slowly, it’s often hard to see how it will affect those of us who aren’t at the epicenter. If you’re a gay or lesbian in California, this ruling has an immediate effect on you, both tangibly and emotionally. For those of us in Michigan, we have learned all too well what the opposite decision can do to our lives and our hearts as we find out just how little our fellow citizens and government think we deserve.
But the relative good news is that Michigan isn’t the state known for being at the forefront of social and political movements. California is.
While we’re shaking our heads and wondering how our state became so blind, positive change is happening in America. It’s only a matter of time before it spreads. There is no telling what the timeline is, but one thing is certain: We’re moving forward, not backward.
It’s no secret that California is doing well economically and socially. When other governments look to their model to ask how they can become that successful, equal rights for the LGBT community will be on that checklist.
Michigan, we hope you’re taking note.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.