My social media is awash with pink equal signs and rainbow flags. It’s lit up like a multi-colored Christmas tree. Which, it should be, because the Mississippi legislature has decided that, of all the things we could possibly need them to do, the thing that most needs doing is for them to protect our religious freedom. Because we don’t already have a Bill of Rights for that or anything.
Here’s the really sad part. These people are getting paid to do the job of governing in a state with an unemployment rate higher than 15% in some counties, and this is what they’re screwing around with. Taking the wrong side on an issue that’s already decided, except for the part where everyone who’s uncomfortable with the decision acquiesces.
That’s where we are on marriage equality, folks. If it makes you uncomfortable, I empathize with your discomfort, but it’s really best for everyone if you just get over it.
Maybe one of these days I’ll make you a list of all the things that have gone on in the U.S. since 2000 that have made me uncomfortable but I have had to live with. People are going to have to learn to live with this, because it’s happening.
Here’s how it’s going to be, whether the Mississippi legislature comes to its senses and nixes this bill, or whether the federal government’s policies supercede it at a later date.
Marriage in this country will be a legal right, in all 50 states, and not just for opposite-sex couples. Legal marriage will entail full rights to participate in medical decisions, inherit property without a lot of undue legal bullshit, share the custody of children, file joint tax returns, and all kinds of other things that require separate contracts to get done between people who aren’t married.
See, that’s the real issue here. Legal rights. That’s why it has to happen, and why it will happen.
No one cares about your personal relationship with God, and no one cares what your congregation does about same-sex marriage. But most of us expect that if you open a bakery to the public, and someone offers you money for a wedding cake, you put on your apron and you make it to order, or else you’re liable to lose your privilege license. It’s not about your religion. It’s about legal equality.
Oh. And common decency.
It’s about that, too.
NOTE – If you want more information about the bill itself, I recommend Deep South Progressive as good starting point – they’re all over this. If you’re inclined to do something a little more active, there’s an event planned for March 26 in Jackson. It started out as a protest, but plans have changed, according to the organizers:
There has been a change in the event. After speaking with the ACLU, we have decided that instead of going to Jackson to protest Senate Bill 2681, we will be going to Jackson simply to show our state lawmakers that the LGBT+ community does exist here, that we are a part of this state and that we deserve to be counted, that laws should be made for our protections and rights and that we will not be quiet any longer.
We hope that this will not turn away those of you who signed on to this due it being a protest of SB2681. The fact still remains that we are not protected under state law. We have no protections from workplace/school discrimination, as well as no laws enabling us to take part in adoption, foster parenting or marriage.
This is still a very important day and we still need all the support we can get for this. So please continue to share this and join us in March as we show everyone that we are here.
Thank you very much.
– Both images are snagged from friends’ profile pics, but I feel as though the people who created them won’t mind. People don’t create images like these for the credit. They create them to spread ideas.