On Monday, the Supreme Court appeared to rule in favor of a Colorado baker who denied services to a same-sex couple planning their wedding by deciding that the cake baker, Jack Phillips, was mistreated in the lower courts and therefore those cases were not valid. A mere three years after SCOTUS ruled in the landmark Obergefell vs. Hodges case that made same-sex marriage legal nationally, we kick off Pride with a giant leap backward, and less of an understanding than ever of where free speech ends and discrimination begins.
Without a doubt this ruling will be used as precedence for even more discriminatory cases. It is a reminder of the work ahead of us. It is a blow to the spirit and well-being of the LGBTQIA+ community. It is a call to action to those of us who call ourselves allies.
So what actions can we take to combat this?
1. Use Your Platforms
The only way the trend backward continues is if we stop speaking up and out. Using our voices in the places we wield power, agency, and impact is no longer an option, it’s necessary. Conversations about protecting and supporting marginalized communities can definitely happen online but they need to happen in the places where people are paying the most attention to you as well. You have a voice and people are listening. Speak up.
2. Show LGBTQIA+ Support with Your Dollars
LGBTQIA+ protective ordinances are not in every city, and I say that from a blue city in the red state of Texas. How you spend your money is a political choice. Being conscious of who you support is being conscious of what you promote. What do these brands stand for? Who do they hire? Who do they represent? What values do they promote? Whose stories do they include?
Larger corporations make decisions on what’s financially viable. Media corporations pick up television shows and news stories based on what’s financially viable. Financially supporting those in, working with, and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community proves its viability. Without this support, the LGBTQIA+ community risks the loss of visibility, the loss of access, the loss of financial resources, the loss of livelihood, the loss of safety, and even the loss of life. Put your money where your heart is. Someone’s life depends on it.
This goes without saying, but I guess it doesn’t because I still have to say it: pay attention to your local elections. Who’s sitting on your city council? Who’s your state senator? Waiting for a Presidential election to make political decisions is waiting too long. There are people creating policies right now that will directly impact you much faster than our national ones will. Figure out who they are, support the candidates who align with your values, make noise, register voters, and use your voice.
I know we’re all pretty tired of fighting and marching.
We’re tired of protesting and making political posts on social media. We’re tired. But these problems don’t disappear because we want them to. They don’t rest when we rest. Please take whatever time you need to recover from this painful decision, but we need you. Mourn today so you can fight tomorrow.
Jordan A. Maney is an Assistant Editor at Catalyst Wedding Co. and is a San Antonio-based wedding planner. She she started her company as a planning haven for all the couples the industry chooses to ignore. Instead of just making a brand, she's building a community. Find more of her sass, humor, and Southern hospitality at allthedaysweddings.com.