By Sabrina Samone, TMP
When the POTUS received the news that DOMA and Proposition 8 was struck down by the Supreme Court, his first tweet was ‘#Love is Love’. Yes today is the day the Federal Government will officially recognize Marriage Equality. The much anticipated ruling was cheered on by LGBTQI people from every corner of this country today. The Supreme Court struck down two key anti-gay laws: a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act preventing the Federal Government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages performed in states where they are legal, and California’s voter-approved Prop 8, which ended same-sex marriage in the largest populated state in America. Thanks a lot, I think, to the efforts of this President we are finally able to see this day, which is bitter sweet for many in the Transgender Community.While most of the focus has been on Gay and Lesbian marriage rights, it is true that many Trans-lesbians and gays can now marry. Also this ruling will apply to the many people who are pre-op or choose to remain pre-op, to marry whom they love as well. Very little opposition has been towards Transgender people who have received their SRS surgeries and are heterosexual, but in the case of Thomas Beatie’s nine year union, where he was refused by an Arizona Judge from getting a divorce. Thomas Beatie, though in a heterosexual relationship, had retained his female reproductive organs and therefore the court viewed the marriage as null and void. Today’s ruling will affect him and many other Transgender people in similar situations. There remains a large portion of the Transgender community who decides not to have SRS to feel complete in their new identity, so this ruling will open the door to legal marriages.
We also continue to face discrimination in the workplace, housing, and are faced with an epidemic of hate crimes. We are also in a fight across the country for a basic human right, to use the bathroom. Issues that greatly affect the Transgender Community outside of marriage are the reasons behind a new campaign by the Transgender Law Center’s #MORE THAN MARRIAGE.
The bitter sweetness of this ruling also, is that currently only 13 states recognize same-sex marriages that will be recognized by the Federal Government. That leaves 37 states that still refuse to grant same-sex marriages, and 37 battles yet to come for full marriage equality. This battle may have been made easier in half of those states, but the other half, especially those in the south may be harder nuts to crack than yesterdays Supreme Court Ruling. One of those reasons and most that Gay and Lesbian people understand all too well is that their greatest opposition from politicians often comes from the most closeted set amongst them. In South Carolina we have one of the loudest closeted cases within Congress, in U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, who we can only imagined responded to the Supreme Court’s decision as if he was Scarlet O’Hara, screeching about the heat. According to a statement from the Senator Lindsey (stuck in the closet) Graham, that was posted on his face book page, “I believe in the traditional definition of marriage. South Carolinians have repeatedly said that is the definition they support as well. I have been a strong supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). I voted for it as a member of the House of Representatives, and as a Senator, wrote a brief to the Supreme Court to uphold this important law. I was disappointed with today’s outcome, but respect the Court’s decision. One key point, today’s Supreme Court ruling will not change South Carolina law and I will continue to fight for and defend the traditional definition of marriage.”
Yes as usual, our greatest opponents are usually the ones that don’t realize they are one of us, or refuse to accept and love themselves. I hope and pray and will do my part to continually remind the LGBT citizens of the this state that may want to celebrate this victory today, to remember who stands in their way of true full equality. Regardless of what has happened in the Supreme Court, Sen. Lindsey (miss thing) Graham, has stood his ground and says he will continue to defend traditional marriage. This should mean, with such support that this state’s LGBT groups have placed on supporting this decision, that the same or greater amount should be placed on voting Sen. Lindsey Graham out of office and remove him as an obstacle to the LGBT of this state, joining the rest of the Union in full equality. You can’t have your cake and want to eat it too; there should not be one LGBT person not willing to vote against Graham that supported marriage equality, it is the height of hypocrisy.Also, what makes this a bitter sweet moment for many, is the vote against a key part of the Voting Rights Act as blogger Monica Robert’s of Transgriot put it best, “I know civil rights is not a zero sum game, but that’s the way it looks to a lot of African-Americans today inside and outside the trans and SGL community. One group got their rights advanced while the centuries old historical pattern of crapping on the human rights of African-Americans made a comeback.”
While this does mark an extra reason this Pride Month to celebrate, and I’m about to go out and start myself, we are well aware of a fight that continues. These same voter rights that have been taken away, may also be the reason in many of the states that still bans same-sex marriage, a struggle will most definitely continue.
Related Transmuseplanet Topics
Why Trans* should vote for our own self interest
Roll Call: South Carolina LGBTQ…Please stand
South Carolina Equality announced the introduction of H.4025: “The Workplace Fairness Act” at a press conference at the State House