Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples have the right to marry. This landmark decision establishes the right to marry for over 1,000,000 same-sex couples in the US. It is a profound affirmation of our shared humanity and an enormous step towards full equality for LGBT people in the United States.
This victory is the result of nearly 40 years of legal challenges, policy advocacy, and grassroots organizing. This work was rooted in the courage of individuals like Edith Windsor, James Obergefell, and countless others who endured homophobic attacks and ridicule to pursue their cause. They were supported by our partners: the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Movement Advancement Project, and the Civil Marriage Collaborative. Campaigns like Freedom to Marry and the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce made sure Windsor, Obergefell, and countless others were not alone—that millions could open their hearts and minds to walk with them on the long journey to equality and justice.
The marriage equality movement has fundamentally changed the way we understand LGBT people. By offering the country a universal language of love and commitment, it created an opening for a national dialogue about the experiences and broader injustices facing LGBT people. But as we celebrate, let us also reflect on the work ahead.
There is no federal law that protects workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and fewer than half of states have such protections. Protections from discrimination in housing and public accommodations lag even further behind. The state-condoned violence facing transgender people and LGBT youth, particularly those who are people of color, remains unconscionably high.
Let us use this victory as a springboard in the ongoing fight full equality for LGBT people.