How does it feel to be part of history?
We talk often about the long moral arc of history bending towards justice, to paraphrase Dr. King, but today we saw that happens right in our own backyards. And mark my words—every one of us here, and scores of people who came before us helped to make today happen.
One of this nation’s founding fathers, Samuel Adams, wrote, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”
It just happens to be brush fire season in Texas, and LGBT rights, including but not limited to marriage equality and employment nondiscrimination, have been picking up momentum. And why? Not only because it is right and just, but because we as a people are courageous to live openly, sharing our authentic selves with the world and demonstrating for all to witness that love is love.
The decision by Judge Garcia confirms what we in the LGBT community have known for nearly a decade: The additions to the Texas Constitution and the Texas Family Code, which many fair-minded Texans fought against when it was put to the state’s voters as Amendment 2 in 2005, are discriminatory and violate the United States Constitution.
We still have our work cut out for us. None of us can predict how long this appeal will take. I can’t go down to the courthouse right now and get a marriage license, even if I were of a mind to do so (I’m single). We can still be fired from our jobs because of who we are and whom we love. Our transgender sisters and brothers, and our immigrant sisters and brothers, face extreme discrimination just for being. Our LGBTQ youth and seniors need additional services to make their lives easier.
But mark this down. Today, we saw the first effort to dismantle the barrier of marriage equality in Texas. This evening we celebrate a significant victory. Tomorrow, we get back to the work of asserting our equality. But we do so with an increased certainty in our hearts and our heads that marriage equality is fixin’ to come to Texas.
— Rafael McDonnell
Rafael McDonnell is Resource Center Communications and Advocacy Manager and spoke at a rally at the Legacy of Love monument on Cedar Springs Road on Wednesday.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 28, 2014.