Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Dream Reaches New Frontiers.

Tomorrow will mark the official 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. This is the march where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his now famous "I Have a Dream" speech. So of course, we've been talking here and elsewhere about how far we’ve come since then... As well as how far we still need to go to achieve that dream.

State Senator Pat Spearman (D-North Las Vegas) touched on this back in June, as Southern Nevada locals were celebrating the US Supreme Court's rulings on marriage equality. Those marked major achievements in LGBTQ civil rights. Yet even now, much more needs to be done.

In May, the Nevada Legislature passed SJR 13 to undo the state's current constitutional ban on marriage equality. It came after weeks of powerful testimony and nerve-wracking deliberation.

And it's still far from over. SJR 13 must pass the Legislature again in 2015 before facing voters for final approval in 2016. It's a long process to undo a horrible mistake made a long time ago.

This also reflects the current state of LGBTQ civil rights nationally. There have been some major achievements in recent years, but we still have more to do to achieve full equality under the law and in society. While the recent Supreme Court decisions were major steps forward, anti-equality campaigns in Arizona and New Mexico remind us of what still needs to be done.

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But then again, New Mexico is becoming the new state on the front line for marriage equality as four counties are now granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Even as some Republican lawmakers there are throwing a temper tantrum over this, at least one law suit there has already been decided in favor of equality. And the state's Attorney General decided not to defend marriage discrimination.

This week, we're being reminded of the ongoing struggles for civil rights. However, we're also having to notice current and emerging struggles for equality. The dream is far from over. Rather, the dream continues to expand to new frontiers.

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