As a white, heterosexual male I have been a beneficiary of most of the unearned privileges this nation has to offer. Now that Pennsylvania, the state in which I live, has become the 19th state to legalize same-sex marriage and the last in the Northeastern U.S. to do so, I am so happy for all lesbian, gay, and bisexual citizens of our state. I am also celebratory for my lesbian, gay, and bisexual friends and loved ones living in this state who I have personally seen struggle for years for so many reasons that are directly related to homophobia, a lack of *basic civil rights, and an absence of many of the unearned privileges I have always taken for granted.
As a heterosexual Pennsylvanian, here are five more reasons, in no particular order, I am happy that same-sex marriage is now legal in Pennsylvania:
- We are one step closer to no longer being called “Pennsyltucky” by most of our neighboring states who are more progressive.
- No more searching all over the place trying to find stores that sell “commitment ceremony” greeting cards.
- No more having to pay extra for embroidered housewarming gifts that charge by the number of stitches. Believe me, “wife” and “wife” or “husband” and “husband” cost far less than “domestic partner 1” and “domestic partner 2” on a set of towels.
- Every adult citizen of Pennsylvania now has the legal right to get married for all the wrong reasons.
- Every adult citizen of Pennsylvania now has the legal right to be miserable.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD MORE FUN REASONS YOU ARE HAPPY FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN PENNSYLVANIA IN THE COMMENT BOX UNDER THE “LEAVE A REPLY” SECTION BELOW!
*Currently an employee can be fired from his/her job simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender in 29 states across the U.S. That’s right, none of the civil rights laws of the 1960’s and 1970’s included lgbt individuals as a protected group. In fact, even in some of the states that have legalized gay marriage, including Pennsylvania, if “sexual orientation” is not listed as a protected group in your employer’s non-discrimination employment clause, an lgbt employee can be fired simply because of his/her sexual orientation. For those who believe that lgbt employees need not be included in the non-discrimination employment clause because you believe that being lgbt is a choice, religion is also a choice and it is a protected group throughout the U.S.