This Is a Blog: 4 Occasions Where Posting The Red Equals Would Be More Appropriate

Monday, April 1, 2013

4 Occasions Where Posting The Red Equals Would Be More Appropriate

When you feel strongly about a social issue, it's always good to be reminded you're not alone. Friends of mine living in red states talked a lot about how a sea of red profile pictures made them feel a lot better than the regressive rants they hear daily. To anyone trying to marry their gay partner, I'm sure the red pictures give them hope their wedding will come some day soon. It's for those reasons that I'm not against the Red Equals, per se. It's not nearly as idiotic as the cartoons against bullying from a few years ago. This time, I actually thought a lot about doing it before deciding not to.

Ultimately, I chose not to because now is hardly the right time to do it. The movement was designed to coincide with the Supreme Court hearing arguments about California's Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. There is never a wrong time to show support for gay marriage. To those of us on this side of the fence, it almost seems ridiculous that there's even another side to this argument. Because our side has become so vocal, it seems even Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly have conceeded the loss. However, the Supreme Court doesn't care what you, or anyone, thinks.

This singularly strong message for gay marriage has now been completely wasted. The Supreme Court is by its very charter isolated from public opinion. Not only do the justices not care what you think, they're Constitutionally required to. The whole point of the checks and balances system is that we have a branch that does nothing but interpret the law. They don't care how you interpret the law. They don't get elected, and their terms end when they choose, not you.

This was a great idea that was totally wasted. In the two months before the court reaches their decision, those red pictures will slow return to selfies, and progress will have been made. Before anyone changed their picture, the odds were already in favor of the court leaning pro-gay marriage. Keep in mind, though. Prop 8 only affects California, and the DOMA case only affects states where gay marriage is already legal. Both are huge steps forward, but the fight is far from over. Here are four situations where a massive gesture like these Red Equals would be more effective.

1) In the next election, keep an eye out for ballot measures supporting or banning same-sex marriage. Voters need to know how many of their friends support gay marriage before they vote, or before they decide to just stay home.

2) Keep an eye out for Congress taking up a bill like DOMA. If the DOMA case wins, the federal government will be required to pay federal benefits to same-sex married couples. In this era of belt tightening, make sure Congress knows we will not tolerate cutting same-sex couples' benefits.

3) Keep an eye out for the next Pastor Worley (the guy who said gays should be thrown into internment camps until they die out) He won't be the last to spew hate like this. The next guy will need a reminder that not everyone is on his side.

4) Keep looking for gay victims of bullying or violence. You can stop bullies, but you can remind the victims they are not alone. It's a long shot, but your support could be enough to keep that kid going.

The red pictures were encouraging to see, but I'm wondering if anyone cares enough to do something about it when it really matters. It's easy to take a stand when you're not really standing against anyone. People who stand against gay marriage honestly believe they are carrying out God's will. This can be the hardest kind of bigotry to fight against. Keep fighting, and don't let yourself off the hook. Don't trick yourself into thinking that by changing your profile picture that you've accomplished anything.



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