Working toward marriage equality

Same-sex marriage activists should use their energy in the best way possible.

Daily Editorial Board

As the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in two landmark cases which challenge the constitutionality of state and federal bans on the rights of same-sex couples, many supporters of marriage equality changed their profile pictures on social media to a red equal sign.

This small measure of Facebook activism spreads awareness of marriage equality and draws attention to the arguments in these cases through a channel that is relatively easy to access. Supporters on Facebook who changed their profile picture made an effort to give visibility to the same-sex marriage movement.

But as millennials, we must remember that one click doesn’t resolve these issues. It is easy to feel as though we are contributing through these instances of Internet activism. But as exemplified by last year’s Kony 2012 campaign, a viral trend can only go so far to create actual change.

Support for equal rights for same-sex couples must extend further into actual engagement with these issues and through channels by which change can be effective. In this case, there is little popular opinion can do to change the constitutionality of a law. That decision rests with the Supreme Court. However, these supporters can pursue marriage equality by actively working with their state legislators, especially here in Minnesota where a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage is gaining traction in the state House.