On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in any state, and the refusal of a state to recognize marriages legally performed elsewhere, is unconstitutional. The Fourteenth Amendment provides that no state deny any of its residents “the equal protection of the laws”. Other cases that came down to the Fourteenth Amendment include Roe v. Wade (1973) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954).
“Love” ring, The Market NYC; Celtic wedding ring, found on the floor at Forever 21
“Kiss” ring, Forever 21
Purse, sewn by me
The sculptor, Robert Indiana
Obergefell v. Hodges, which we affectionately refer to as “Love Wins”, was a case especially significant to me as a bisexual woman. In June 2015, I was 22. In Fall 2005, when I first thought I might be gay, I was 12. Everyone thinks of the San Francisco Bay Area as a liberal place, but there was a palpable current of homophobia at my middle school and, later, at my high school. The word “gay” was frequently used as an insult, and I got the sense that if one was openly gay there, one would not be accepted. I hung out with two main groups of friends in middle school, all female, and let’s just say that they thought lesbians were creepy. The terms “lesbo” and “lezzy” were used. Okay, only three of my friends said as much, but no one had the nerve to argue with them. Not even me. I was paranoid that someone, somehow, would figure me out. I felt certain that I would spend the rest of my life feeling bicurious inside, and simply never acting on it.
Kiss print skirt, Forever 21
The legality of same-sex marriage across the country is about more than marriage, more than even the legal advantages of being a spouse versus a partner. This is about recognizing that although homosexuality and bisexuality are uncommon compared to heterosexuality, they are not expressions of deviance. This is about kids going to school and thinking that the homophobic people are the weird ones, not the LGBT individuals. And this is about making the United States an environment where everyone can work up the courage to find love.