Today is a great day in American history. Today , June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that “The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State.” Today, LGBTQ citizens and their allies (which yes, includes me!) celebrate what they’ve already known: that all Americans have the right to marry the ones they love.
I have, for a long time, been a staunch supporter of the LGBTQ community. I don’t see “their issues” as “LGBTQ rights”, I see “their” issues as human rights. I see their fight as a fight for recognition and acceptance: recognition from their government that they are just as beautiful and human as everyone else and deserving of the same rights and privileges as everyone else, and acceptance for who they are, without needless shame or want to hide.
I’ve never shied away from my support of my LGBTQ friends and family. My website’s title and my “About Me” section both announce that I am “LGBTQ friendly”. That was a conscious decision. The words weren’t added so I could proselytize, as many have assumed. There were added because I wanted the LGBTQ people in my community to know that I, in my small role in the world, was there for them. The words were added so no individual or couple would have to go through the anxiety of asking a photographer they’ve never met if he or she would be willing to take them on as a client – bracing themselves for rebuke while hoping for a “yes”.
I’ve been told to my face and via e-mail by potential clients that I’ve lost business with them due to my stance, but I don’t really care. Once you’ve had your heart broken by a gay couple asking you not to publish their photos because they’ve had to hide their better halves from their families, lost business doesn’t matter. After being thanked and hugged during a consult by a tearful transsexual who was too scared to look for photographers until she saw my page, lost business from people who don’t understand acceptance couldn’t mean less to me. Shooting a gay wedding where not a single member of either groom’s family was present really opens your eyes to the prejudice and hardship that our LGBTQ friends endure. It breaks your heart to see it and to know it but those feelings have always been washed away by the love, support, and devotion they have for each other and seeing how their love helps them persevere.
I could not be happier with this SCOTUS ruling. While I know that this decision will not instantly change the hearts and opinions of those who oppose gay marriage, this ruling is the recognition, acceptance, and legitimization of a historically maligned group of people by the government of the country they live in and love. This ruling was a statement by the Supreme Court that America still believes in the principles of freedom and equality.
Marriage is marriage, be it between two women, two men, or man and woman. 🙂
Love each other!