SCOTUS rules in favor of equality

In a historic ruling on Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples across the country could freely exercise the right to marry. This decision overturns the same-sex marriage bans still in place in 14 states and marks the end of a decades-long struggle to legalize same-sex marriage in the U.S.Justices voted 5-4 in favor of the ruling. Those who dissented cited concerns of judicial overreach. Justice Antonin Scalia, in a blistering dissenting opinion, argued that the Court’s nine justices represent a fraction of the nation’s interest groups and therefore have no right to enforce their politics on the entire country.
 
Despite Scalia’s criticisms, we celebrate the Court’s ruling and the newfound freedom it engenders. However, after the celebrations end, we should reject the notion that the legalization of same-sex marriage necessarily foreshadows future political victories for LGBT groups and their allies. 
 
Same-sex marriage has long served as a rallying point for activist groups across the country. Now these groups must quickly consolidate around a new, common cause or else risk slipping from the public’s attention. 
 
The Supreme Court can interpret laws, but it cannot legislate people’s opinions. Crucial to making this victory a meaningful one is a continued focus on changing the attitudes that inspired 14 states to enforce bans on same-sex marriage in the first place. 
 
The right to marry, while important, does not secure the right to live free of fear. Until everyone can exercise that right, the struggle for equality must continue.