Scroll To Top
Marriage Equality

WATCH: Marriage Equality Backlash Has Only Just Begun

WATCH: Marriage Equality Backlash Has Only Just Begun


Minor inconveniences like an uncooperative bakery or an incorrect driver's license could turn into far worse discrimination if homophobes get their way.

Scott and Daniel Wall-DeSousa are now free to drive anywhere they like in the state of Florida. Previously, the state had refused to issue the couple accurate drivers' licenses after they married in New York and hyphenated their name, but state officials have since relented.

This is a victory for gay and lesbian couples in Florida, but we certainly haven't seen the last of bureaucrats and legislators creating roadblocks to same-sex couples who seek to wed. Sometimes,those roadblocks will take the form of a minor headache and expense, like when clerks in several northern Florida counties stopped offering courthouse marriages for all couples rather than solemnize the unions of same-sex partners, or when a wedding planner informed a lesbian couple that she couldn't plan their wedding because she was overbooked -- and also because she didn't "feel comfortable" with their sexual orientation. But in Virginia, where a proposed bill would let hospitals turn away LGBT patients, the consequences could be far more dire.

Around the country, other antigay legislation would rescind local nondiscrimination ordinances or force clerks to disobey pro-equality court rulings. Some lawmakers are pushing bills that would make it harder for LGBT people to do business, and others laws could facilitate evictions and firings.

The last time the marriage equality movement was on the brink of success was the mid-1990s, when a Hawaii lawsuit seemed headed toward victory. In panicked response, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act and numerous states passed mini-DOMAs of their own.

This year's flurry of antigay bills is a similar backlash, though the climate has changed: With their marriage bans overturned after nearly 20 years, the only recourse available to antigay legislators consists of laws that make it easier to discriminate -- often couched in language claiming to protect "religious freedom."

Get up to speed on the state of our LGBT unions below:

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Matt Baume