We Were the Plaintiffs. You Were the Reason.
June 25, 2014 by Guest contributor
Post submitted by Prop 8 plaintiffs Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier.
We can't believe it has been a year.
One year ago this week, our nation took a giant step forward with two Supreme Court marriage rulings.
We were honored to stand alongside Edie Windsor and so many other heroic champions in our movement who helped make that historic day possible.
The decision to marry and to fight for this right was a personal one. But we realized along the way that this case was much bigger than us. Many of the fears that we initially had about putting ourselves out there washed away as we reflected on the fact that the vast majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans lack even the most basic protections under the law.
As a Human Rights Campaign member, you were with us every step of the way. Through your generosity, you helped HRC amplify our voices and our message of equality for all. There is no question that HRC—along with so many others in the movement—helped lay the groundwork that made our marriages possible. We'll never forget the sea of red logos across Facebook. It was historic, heartwarming and an important reminder that this wasn't about just us—it was about all of us. So thank you.
The question people most often ask us is "How have your lives changed since you were legally married?" The answer is "A lot!"
Marriage matters. The moment you're married, everything changes. It's almost a cliché to say that, but marriage is revered for a reason. Everything that we were fighting for now makes sense. We are so grateful to the American Foundation for Equal Rights for making this lawsuit possible.
But marriage isn't the finish line. Currently, there's no federal law that explicitly bans workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In 29 states it's perfectly legal to fire a person based on sexual orientation, and 32 states lack explicit laws banning discrimination based on gender identity.
We're grateful that HRC has launched Project One America to help move the needle faster in the Deep South—on employment protections and so much more. In states such as Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, our LGBT brothers and sisters are treated like second-class citizens.
Yes, in California, full legal equality is nearly a reality for LGBT people—and we are grateful for this. But equality isn't just a California value; it's an American value. And we have a long way to go until this is a reality.
Please remain visible and vigilant with us. Together, we will achieve full equality for everyone, everywhere.
July 30, 2014