Saturday, June 27, 2015

Love wins and marriage equality comes to America...

The Beatles famously sang "All you need is love" and yesterday love won the day after years of blood, sweat and tears. Following years of struggle the U.S. Supreme Court announced yesterday that ruling 5-4, it was the Constitutional right for same sex partners to be treated equally in the eyes of the law in all 50 States of America and be allowed to be married where they lived, and more importantly be able to enjoy all the privileges of marriage as they travel around the U.S.
White House rainbow illuminated for marriage equality
This is huge and this victory for equality is something I thought would never come so quickly, but it's such a relief it has,  and yesterday and today I'm filled with love, joy and happiness, just as LGBT communities around the world in London, New York and San Francisco celebrate this annual Pride festivities. Today the U.S. and the world has something to celebrate.

Pride flags fly along Santa Monica Boulevard WEHO
As the verdict came in, after the equally encouraging result for Obamacare's survival the day before, my computer literally exploded with unicorns and rainbows as such a wave of unity, hope, relief and love was beamed across the internet and around the world.
Rainbow crossing Pride flags West Hollywood
The haters, religious zealots and bigots had lost and love had won the day and I was so encouraged by the messages of love and acceptance from gay and straight friends (or 'friends' as I like to call them), family, celebrities, politicians and businesses.
News vans Marriage Equality rally WEHO
Last night we joined the huge crowds in West Hollywood Park to celebrate the result of the Supreme Court decision and the news trucks were out in force to see the rally and speakers from the LGBT community and city officials.
Marriage Equality rally WEHO June 26 2015
Two years ago we'd all gathered in West Hollywood outside the Pacific Design Center to celebrate our victories over DOMA and Prop 8, which returned the right of gays and lesbians to marry in California and afforded us the same Federal legal rights as opposite sex couples enjoyed.
Marriage Equality rally WEHO June 26, 2015
About a month later I married my longterm partner at the Beverly Hills courthouse, but this result two years later means that now we can visit all 50 U.S. states and our marriage is valid and equal to everyone else's.

Now is certainly the time to celebrate, but there's still so much to do for full equality if you're LGBT. There are so many employment and housing rights that still have to be won (in most states you can still be fired for being gay), people can refuse to serve you in businesses around the country, plus we have important battles to help the transgender, youth and aging gay communities.
Marriage Equality signs
But for now I'll imagine a country where young kids can grow up knowing that whatever their sexual preference or gender identity, it is the accepted and normal thing for everyone to have the right to marry. Man and man, woman and woman, woman and man. The world's your oyster.

That helps lift huge barriers of discrimination and stigma, especially in communities where you may be 'the only gay in the village'. To know you are protected by the law and you have the choice to marry if you want to enjoy all the legal and commitment benefits of the union.

To know that you are just as normal as everyone else and you can come out of the closet, live the life you want to and love the person you want to. And have it legally recognised.
West Hollywood Marriage Equality rally
Let's hope that America's progressive move for equality can be a beacon for the rest of the world, helping to shine a rainbow light into the dark corners of countries like Iran, Russia, Uganda, Egypt and more, where LBGT people face discrimination, imprisonment, torture and death on a daily basis.

America's not perfect yet, but it's a fabulous start. I for one have hope for the future. Let's all try and be more open-minded, loving and better humans from now on.

No longer will it be 'gay marriage', now and forever it will just be 'marriage'.


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