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OPINION: What Comes After Marriage Equality?

The Atlantic Wire
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March 26, 2013

This is a big week for the gay rights movement. In the coming days, the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on both a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act and to California's Proposition 8, a voter initiative that banned same sex marriage in that state in 2008. In a very real way, we could see the beginning of the end of the marriage equality struggle this week. Of course it could also be the week of two major setbacks, but let's stick with what's widely expected, shall we? Because within that optimism there is also some confusion. If gay marriage does happen, finally and universally, what's next? So much emotion and effort has gone into the decade-plus-long fight that to see those dreams suddenly and finitely realized in a concrete way could prove a bit jarring. The marriage equality fight has been such a unifying, galvanizing one that it will be strange to lose it as a cause to rally around. Of course if the SCOTUS decisions go the way of marriage equality, nothing will happen overnight, exactly.