Struggle not over for LGBTQ rights


Struggle not over for LGBTQ rights

By Angela Pagan

This past Fourth of July was the first for legal gay marriage in the United States and it shows progress for the LGBTQ community, but more must be done.

We celebrate freedom on the Fourth of July because freedom is supposed to be the best part about living here. This country was founded on the basis of freedom; that concept is exactly what our founding fathers strived for.

However, it was not until this year that every adult in the United States gained what I have always believed to be a basic freedom: the right to marry whomever they choose.

“The founding fathers provided us a foundation,” said Molly Holmes, director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center. “… While they couldn’t have foreseen all of the strides in civil rights that have been made, social movements are fueled in large part by individuals who persist. … Closer to home, in the last few years inclusion of LGBTQ services, resources and policies has been driven by the persistence and passion of students.”

Hector Corona, junior health and sciences major, said he can understand the relief, happiness and many more emotions of the LGBTQ community after gaining the right to marry for years.

“Constant rallies, parades and protests to show people that they are equal and deserve to marry the person they love,” Corona said. “I feel proud of the progress we’ve made so I can imagine the whole LGBTQ community must feel the same.”

Legalizing gay marriage is the perfect reminder of why the United States was originally founded. While the Supreme Court’s decision is a step in the right direction, there is still much more inequality present in our country and we must move together as a nation to fix it.

“This is progress, but only one part,” Holmes said. “There is a misperception that now that there’s marriage equality, LGBTQ people are equal. … As long as inequities exist in this country, LGBTQ people will be especially impacted. LGBTQ folks hold multiple and intersecting identities so all issues of equality and social justice must be addressed.”

We can be truly proud that history has been made and that the United States will hopefully continue to show the rest of the world why living in this country is such a blessing.

I think people lose sight of why we celebrate the Fourth of July over the years. This holiday is not just about fireworks, cookouts and wearing the United States flag or its colors in creative ways. Don’t get me wrong; those are some of the best parts of celebrating our independence day, but they are not the reasons why we celebrate.