Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Bill in Arizona is Awful, but That May be a Good Sign

The war over gay marriage is pretty much over. The fight for gay rights is almost won. Decision after decision by Federal courts are ruling bans on gay marriage unconstitutional. The precedent has been set. The Supreme Court will eventually be forced to take up the issue, but I don't think they're too eager about it. The lower courts rulings suit them just fine and gives all the more justification for their eventual ruling in favor of marriage equality.

In the face of the progress the last year or so has brought, recently there has been a backlash by certain state government. Notably, Arizona's recently passed a bill that would've allowed for segregation of LGBT individuals. Fortunately, the Governor decided to veto this bill. She probably didn't decide to do so for the noblest reasons, but whatever keeps shit like that away is alright I suppose.

However, I see the fact that legislation passed as a sign of progress. How? Well, this is a counter-attack by the retreating far-right wing. They know that protection of the 14th Amendment for gay people and trans* people will soon be precedent. This counter attack has nothing to do with them winning; Arizona lawmakers undoubtedly knew that the law they passed would never take effect. It would've been stopped with an injunction and then killed by a Federal Court.

No, the move to get extreme anti-gay laws passed is all in an attempt to maintain power and support. These people are a governor standing with the national guard to stop a black student from entering a public school. The point then and the point now is to galvanize support with those who oppose the extension of Civil Rights. While, it isn't a majority who oppose these things, enough people do the keep the politicians they support relevant and maintain they're platform.

It is short-sighted to put yourself on the wrong side of history. Once the battle is done there's always gonna be a black mark on anyone's record whose opposition was so extreme. A segregationist could win some votes and a few states in 1968, but within a few years segregationists were unelectable.

Basically, what I'm saying is that while some state governments are doing horrendous things, they've already lost. The awful bigoted people still exist and will continue to exist, but their power is being taken away.

Also, while legal equity is coming soon, there is still a lot of cultural and institutional prejudice against LGBT people. A court decision won't fix that, but being granted equal protection under the law is a very nice step.


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