Marriage and Equality: Great but Not Synonymous

marriage equality

I woke up to see that New Mexico became the 17th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Super awesome! Despite what you read in the rest of this blog post, I’m legitimately happy to see that another state has allowed same-sex marriage. But something I’ve noticed (more now than I have in the past) is that there’s a large idea that somehow marriage = equality. I want to take this time to just say that while the right to marriage is a part of equality for some, it must not be mistaken as a substitute for equality itself, nor must it be paraded as equality for all.

Marriage is great for those who want it, but it won’t keep your employer from firing you for your sexual orientation or your gender identity. Marriage is a great talking point, but it won’t educate your youth about safe-sex, nor will it actively teach them about the ways they can express their sexuality in ways that aren’t harmful to themselves or others. Marriage is an excellent symbolic struggle, but it won’t eradicate the transphobia that many face on the daily basis as they’re condescended and told that the fight for marriage equality is for all of us.

So that, children, is why you’ll see me clap (but not give a standing ovation–unless it’s in the Deep South) when I hear news of a state passing marriage equality. That said, New Mexico gets my full round of applause.

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