With the news usually bringing stories of shootings, riots and crimes, watching something happy unfold on the daily broadcast was a pleasant surprise.
On Friday, June 26, 2015, history was made as the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. By establishing the new civil right, this has created one of the biggest victories for the LGBT community. What does this mean for everyone? How are people reacting?
For Penn State student and member of the LGBTQA student program, Boo Rider, it was a dream come true.
“I was extremely happy; this is such a far step,” Rider said. “It’s like Christmas came early this year.” He wanted to make sure all of his friends knew because this is something they’ve been waiting for.
Rider said he didn’t think same-sex marriage would be legalized for some time because of the pace things have been going. In 2004 Massachusetts was the first state to allow same-sex couples to share in the freedom to marry. Now, 11 years later, all states share that same freedom.
“It didn’t seem like something like this would go through so quickly,” Rider said. “But no one’s complaining.”
The United States is the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage, and there’s growing support for gay rights everywhere. In the U.S. about two-thirds of Americans support the LGBT community.
According to CNN.com, in reaction to the news Obama said, “Americans should be very proud,” because small acts of courage “slowly made an entire country realize that love is love.”
“It’s not an end-all homophobia thing but it’s going to help take our nation in the right direction,” Rider said. “It’s completely okay to just be whoever you are.”
Michael Grasso, double major in communications and fine arts in sculpture, is also part of the Penn State LGBTQA student resource center. He was in a hotel room in Kolkata, India when he found out the news.
Grasso wants to believe that legalization of equal marriage will help eradicate homophobia, but there’s also a lot more work to be done.
“This is a problem which stems from the household, and should be aggressively attacked within the household,” he said. “It needs to change systematically, on a societal-wide level.”
The institution of marriage has a rich cultural heritage rooted in heterosexuality and religion, he said. Just as we cannot forget other historical examples of discrimination and prejudice, Grasso said he strongly supports promoting the traditional history of marriage in the classroom or household.
“For any society to survive, an embrace of change must be faced with open hearts and minds,” Grasso said. “Thus is the tone of the century we are living in, and the tone I hope to see continued through the future.”
Whether we like it or not, history has been made. Marriage has changed. Love has won.