By Liz Welch Fair is Fair LGBT Organizer
When you looked at your Facebook page this week, did it look like the popular social media network changed its brand color from blue to red? Was it hard to tell your friends apart because all of their pictures were the same red equal signs? If so, you weren’t alone.
This has been an important week for LGBT rights in America. The two big cases in front of the U S Supreme Court are big steps in defining what the near future holds for same-sex couples.
In Montana, we aren’t expecting that either of these cases will make sweeping changes in our political landscape.
Anything less than a declaration by the U.S. Supreme Court that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional will leave Montana with its current constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman. We will still have no statewide protections in place for LGBT people in terms of employment, housing or public accommodations.
While I was happy to see so many people on Facebook support fairness, not every red icon was actually supportive. Some people added derogatory words or photos to show their displeasure. I realized I could inspect each and every person’s profile to see who was supportive and who wasn’t or I could look at the totality of the sea of red profile pictures and imagine each of those people open to LGBT rights in one way or another. Or I could take it take the sea of red as a challenge to engage each of those people on LGBT rights at a deeper level.
No matter what the U.S. Supreme Court decides we still need to have one-on-one conversations with Montanans every day. Every little red profile picture is an opportunity for more dialogue about why we need legal recognition and protections for loving, committed same-sex couples, about why schools need to protect kids from being bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, about transgender rights and about the intersections of race, religion, education, poverty, immigration and healthcare with the movement for LGBT rights.
This is about so much more than relationship recognition. And we are nowhere close to being finished with the work for fairness for all.